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The Rhetorical Appeal of Images Essay

Crewell, Draper and Mitchell write that pathos relies on emotional responses to pull people to their side. According to the Association for Psychological Science, people respond to emotional stimuli consciously and unconsciously. People do not plan to get emotionally affected by images. It all depends on whether the image is emotionally arousing enough. Emotional appeal is essential when trying to persuade people. Lane and Nadel describe emotions as action dispositions. If people use relatable pathos-laden images to ask for help, they will be successful because people’s emotions can be quickly translated into action.

Prentice Hall Reference Guide made a mistake in choosing Figure 5. 3 to represent images’ pathos. I believe it is ineffective and unemotional image. It captures neither the heart wrenching tragedy New Orleans families experienced nor the altruistic and hopeful unity shown by the interaction between volunteers and victims. The strongest emotion evoked by the Figure 5. 3 is confusion. Was this even in New Orleans? The people looked like they were enjoying the sun, not like they just lost loved ones, friends and homes. There was nothing in the picture to suggest that this is a city that had just been rampaged by a deadly hurricane.

The dead body in the foreground seemed insignificant and unnoticeable. The image of the dead body gathers strength and becomes emotionally affecting only after reading the accompanying caption. This only underlines how much the photo is unable to stand by itself and how weak the image is as a tool of pathos. 2. Read another student’s posting below and write a 250-word response to this posting. I agree with [NAME]’s analysis and argument that Figure 5. 4 from the Prentice Hall Reference Guide is an image that could represent both the ethical and emotional appeal. Figure 5.

4 evokes Crewell, Draper and Mitchell’s requirement of calling out emotional response for pathos appeal. The image also passes Burton’s definition of ethos-laden images as images that brings into question the actions and measures the government has taken to care for its citizens. [NAME] was able to clearly articulate the ethical appeal and concerns of the image by comparing the American government’s incompetence in handling the Hurricane Katrina-caused wreckage with the seeming ease, better organization and greater importance it placed in its military operations.

On the other hand, [NAME]’s constant criticism of the government’s credibility brings to attention that Figure 5. 4 might be better off as a representation of logos. The image definitely has the rational elements Crewell, Draper and Mitchell require of a logos-based appeal. Studying the image through logos, one can see how the image could be a tool for rational, political persuasion. Banking on the logic that the government is incompetent when it comes to providing necessary care and protection for its citizens, many can be persuaded to stop putting their trust, confidence and vote for the current players of the government.

In a sense, one can make sense of the picture as the government turning its back on the citizens who need its help most as it focuses its attention is greedy ventures such overpowering other nations. Works Cited Association for Psychological Science. “Cause And affect: Emotions can be And Subliminally Evoked, Study Shows. ” ScienceDaily 29 April 2008. 25 March 2009 <http://www. sciencedaily. com¬ /releases/2008/04/080428155208. htm>. Burton, Gideon. “Ethos.

” Brigham Young University. 2007. 25 March 2009. <http://rhetoric. byu. edu/persuasive%20appeals/Ethos. htm>. Crewell, Dustin, Melissa Draper, and Colin Mitchell. “The art of rhetoric: Learning how to use the three main rhetorical styles. ” Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 1996. 25 March 2009. <http://www. rpi. edu/dept/llc/webclass/web/project1/group4/>. Lane, Richard, and Lynn Nadel. Cognitive Neuroscience of Emotion. New York: Oxford University Press USA, 2002.

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