Critique of Rhetorical Appeals in "A Call for Unity"

Topics: Rhetoric, Logic, Critical thinking Pages: 3 (1070 words) Published: November 14, 2007
"A Call for Unity" by Carpenter et al. makes use of logos and ethos to create a persuasive and convincing argument. By using these persuasive rhetoric appeals, Carpenter et al. manage to presents themselves and other non-Negro citizens in a favorable light by suggesting that they have "expressed understanding" (Carpenter et al. 1) and been "responsible citizens" (2). Negro citizens, however, are presented as opposition determined to undermine the "principles of law and order and common sense" (2) through the use of public demonstrations. This essay will explore the various persuasive devices used by Carpenter et al.. to determine how important they are in creating a successful and convincing argument. Carpenter et al. make use of numerous persuasive techniques throughout their letter including rhetorical appeals and various claims. However, it is their use of logos and ethos that contributes most to their success in creating a well-reasoned an effective persuasive argument. From the very start of the letter, Carpenter et al. present the reader with an ethos appeal by introducing themselves as "the undersigned clergymen" (1). By giving themselves the title if clergymen, Carpenter et al. increase their credibility. This increased credibility presents them as more trustworthy to a reader and ultimately increases their persuasiveness. They shortly follow this with another ethos appeal to show that they "expressed understanding" (2). By addressing their own understanding, they illustrate their willingness to respect another person's viewpoint which contributes to their overall ethos appeal. This further increases their credibility and the trust a reader places in them and adds to their overall persuasive power. In order to present an effective persuasive argument, Carpenter et al. balance their use of ethos appeals with logical arguments (logos appeals). They state "racial matters could be properly pursued in the courts" (Carpenter et al. 1) and "decisions of those...
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