Persuasive Pathos of Joan Dunayer’s Article “Here’s to Your Health”

Categories: Health
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Throughout Joan Dunayer’s article “Here’s to Your Health” she discusses the promotion of alcohol through mass media, and the false ideology created by corporations. She begins her article by giving an example of a child being pressured into to drinking and then supports her statement by saying “U.S. society encourages drinking” allowing the reader to assume it is the norm to be peer pressure into drinking. Dunayer then begins a discussion of how the corporations falsely advertise alcohol and what the myths of alcohol consumption are.

She concludes her argument with a very strong sentence saying “for alcohol’s victims, “Here’s to Your Health” rings with terrible irony when it is accompanied by the clink of liquor glasses” leaving her readers thinking if alcohol really makes them “successful, sexy, healthy and happy” (Dunayer 2). Dunayer’s focus on the unspoken effects of alcohol promotion allows her to target the main ideas of peer pressure, social success, sexiness and professional success.

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In the article called “Here’s to Your Health,” Joan Dunayer uses pathos to stress the negative side effects of alcohol promotion.

Peer pressure can be experienced just about everywhere; whether that is at a party, sports game, school, work, or hanging out with your close friends. Peer pressure is perhaps one of the biggest influencers of bad decisions as seen in the article “Here’s to Your Health;” a young freshman playing on his high school’s varsity wrestling team fell into this trap. Tod was in the car driving home with his older teammates and he was offered a bottle of tequila, “he felt like he had to accept, or he would seem like a sissy” (Dunayer 1).

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Joan Dunayer’s use of peer pressure as anecdotal evidence builds up her pathos because she causes the reader feel bad or maybe makes the reader reminisce of a time where they felt pressured to drink; consequently strengthening her argument.

Further down the page, Dunayer also states “In movies and music videos, trendsetters party by drinking in nightclubs and bars” (Dunayer 1). By using high profile persons, people are more likely to feel like they need to drink in order to fit in. Not only does this strengthen her argument it also enhances her use of pathos because people can relate to feeling like they should be drinking because the “coolest person” there is and if they don’t they will be left out. In those first two paragraphs of Joan Dunayer’s article she already built herself a strong ground in the use of her pathos through peer pressure and popularity.

Professional success; oh boy are there a lot of commercials where men and women are in dress clothes sipping on scotch or maybe a glass of red wine. Joan Dunayer briefly discusses how people see ads of men in their suits, perfectly groomed sitting at a table with silver plates and half empty cocktail glasses, shaking hands concluding as business deal (Dunayer 1). Through her use of imagery Dunayer strengthened her use of pathos because she allows the reader to imagine what it would look and feel like to be like those men, but then she goes to contradict how alcohol does not make you successful by eliciting the idea that commercials and advertisements falsely portray alcohol consumption as an outlet to success, whereas in realty, “drinking is more closely related to the lack of success” (Dunayer 1). Dunayer uses pathos in this situation by portraying a successful outcome from drinking and then uses a rebuttal making the reader question if the consumption of alcohol is actually good for you.

Parties, family gatherings, and work functions; alcohol is bound to be involved. Whether you need that liquid courage to stand up to Aunt Karen or you are trying to impress your crush alcohol can create an image for you. In Dunayer’s research, she discovered that commercials are portraying alcohol drinkers as more attractive, but in reality “alcohol can cause infertility in women and impotence to men” (Dunayer 2). Companies are trying to make drinking a positive sexy thing, but it really causes your hormones to become unbalanced or lowers them to the point where you cannot produce offspring. When people see commercials promoting alcohol as a sexy drink, Dunayer is implying it makes them feel like they will be sexier.

Dunayer uses pathos above to make the reader feel like alcohol consumption is bad for your health. Towards the end of the article “Here’s to Your Health,” Dunayer uses an example of how drinking will make you more social and get your more friends, but in reality “when alcohol becomes the center of a social gathering, it may lead to public drunkenness and violence” (Dunayer 2). Dunayer used contrast to construct pathos because she began talking about how drinking appears to make you more social, but it is known to make you violent. This has the reader debating whether drinking makes you socially successful because if you drink you might have fun or you might become violent leading to the loss of friends. This pulls the reader emotionally in opposite directions.

Joan Dunayer’s focus on her rhetorical devices especially her emphasis on pathos allowed her to build a strong argument playing with people’s emotions. Dunayer mainly focused on the social aspects of pathos making the reader feel bad for drinking irresponsibly or allowing them to think it is wrong to drink, or they will not fit in if they do not get wasted. Through the myths mass media has portrayed alcohol to be, has allowed Dunayer to be able to create the use of pathos through peer pressure, professional success, social success and sexiness. Joan Dunayer’s use of rhetorical devices and her emphasis on pathos throughout her article gave her a strong argument, and the ability to conflict the reader’s emotions.

Works Cited

  1. Dunayer, Joan. “Here’s to Your Health.” Townhall Press Publications. 6 apr. 2006
  2. MiraCosta College. English 100. Class Handout. Print.
  3. “Rhetorical Strategies.” MiraCosta College. English 100. Class Handout. Print.
Cite this page

Persuasive Pathos of Joan Dunayer’s Article “Here’s to Your Health”. (2021, Apr 25). Retrieved from

Persuasive Pathos of Joan Dunayer’s Article “Here’s to Your Health”

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