Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Mary Ellen's Story

Topics: Rhetoric, Appeal to emotion, Emotion Pages: 2 (609 words) Published: April 7, 2013
Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Mary Ellen’s Story
In 1874, Mary Ellen’s case shined a light on Abuse of children and was brought by American Society for the Prevention of cruelty to Animals, which later passed a law to protect children from physical abuse from their parents. During the trial, the judge ordered for Ellen to be brought into the court room and from there she gave her heart-wrenching testimony. This testimony made such an impact in history that the author, physician, and writer Howard Markel revealed her story in the New York Times in 2009. In this composition Markel uses appeals as strategies to reveal and remind the audience of Ellen’s case and form a movement to prevent it and protect victims, which is an effort that continues today. In Markel strategies he mostly uses an emotional appeal which is more effective in this composition because the language used in Ellen’s testimony evokes the senses and brings emotion to the audience and helps them to relate her. Her testimony provides concrete evidence which Markel used to give his composition a logical appeal. By persuading the audience by emotion Markel is able to give his text an emotional appeal. This causes the audience not only to respond emotionally but, to identify with the writers point of view. Emotional appeals also have descriptive language which helps the audience relate to the argument or discussion. In the text Markel used descriptive and figurative language to show how Ellen looked, “Henry Bergh, who saw the girl—like a member of the animal kingdom needing the protection of state”, this example gives emotion but by the use of words. Her story puts a personal touch and brings a vivid example of what happened before and what is still happening today. Some audiences may not like this approach for some just don’t want to hear the truth; so in this case it may not be so effective. Through most of the composition Markel let Ellen’s story speak for itself and let her story influence the...
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