Use of Emotion or Pathos
A strong talent that excellent speakers possess is the ability to link their message with an appeal to emotion or pathos. Throughout his speech Einstein used the people that lived their day to day lives in fear of dying to grab them emotionally. He compares the fear that people felt with a “tragicomedy” saying that the war going on was enacted like a play. Einstein said” but on that stage, on which the actors under the floodlights play their ordained parts, our fate of tomorrow, life or death of the nations, is being decided” (The Menace of Mass destruction). Saying that the lives of the nations involved were being decided with that bomb connected with the people who were already afraid of the war being in their backyard. Einstein chose pathos as a start to his speech as a way to grab the audience’s attention. When talking about something as serious as the possibility of mass destruction it is reasonable to want attention. Einstein capitalized on this area knowing that he would be able to appeal to the emotions of people at the time.
Another way Einstein impacted the audience was by using logic, or logos, to better understand his ideas. He speaks about there being two different sides to the issue. One of the sides wants to drop the atomic bomb in order to get the war over with and the other wants to think through an ulterior plan as just dropping the bomb could result in many issues. This reveals Einstein’s main purpose of attempting to find another way to stop the war instead of just dropping the bomb. Connecting logos into his purpose he knew that the two sides previously talked about likely would not be able to agree on a plan. Einstein made it obvious to the audience that he thought that a peaceful method was the most important part in stopping the dropping of the bomb. He attempted to get everyone onto one side so that there would be a common solution. He avoided telling people that their opinions and sides were wrong as it would just divide the sides further from what he wanted.
The final part of Einstein’s speech used a method to get the audience to think in the same way that he was thinking in. He used ethos in order to get what he wanted, which was a way to not drop the atomic bomb. He did this by going back to the fear of the audience at wartime and comparing the two sides to that of a bubonic plague. He inquires that if there were an outbreak would people attempting to stop the plague just wipe out the infected nation or join forces with that nation in order to rid of the plague for good. The countries would work together to find a plan that did not end in either one of them getting eradicated. He proposed that once a plan was formed the government would attempt to put it into effect. This specific comparison was used by Einstein to get the audience thinking in the same way as him.
Persuading the Audience
Einstein was a brilliant man and his speech reflected that. He was able to send a powerful message to everyone who would listen and even though his mission ultimately failed he got his ideas out to more people which in turn brought them knowledge of the nuclear bombs. This speech changed and brought new opinions to many people on what should be done to stop the war. Using logos, pathos, and ethos Einstein delivered a speech that will be remembered for a very long time.