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Dead Man Walking by Helen Prejean: Analysis

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Dead Man Walking by Helen Prejean: Analysis
Briley Krohnke
English 106
Kendra Breitsprecher
1 April 2015
The author and narrator of the book Dead Man Walking, is Helen Prejean. Helen Prejean is a Catholic nun who began a life of social activism in 1981. Sister Helen Prejean is also a writer, lecturer, and community organizer. Prejean’s work with the poor eventually led her to the criminal justice system, where she became a spiritual advisor to not only one, but two death row inmates. After Helen Prejean witnessed the executions, she decided to dedicate herself to work for the abolishment of the death penalty. Throughout this book Sister Helen Prejean is forced to work with many different audiences. She has to deal with, first and foremost, the death row inmate. She is dealing with someone, who she, doesn’t agree at all with what they did was right. She also has to deal with the inmate’s family. A family who believes their child/sibling should have the right to live. Prejean also has to deal with the outside world, questioning why she, as a Catholic nun, would be trying support the death row inmates. Lastly, Sister Helen Prejean has to deal with the family’s whose child/children were murdered.
I believe that throughout this entire reading Sister Helen Prejean does a great job expressing her opinion on the death penalty. Prejean states many facts throughout Dead Man Walking. She also pulls on the audience’s emotions in such a powerful way. Helen Prejean has two accounts of first hand experience with death row inmates also. Sister Prejean uses logos, pathos, and ethos to prove that the death penalty should be banned. She persuades me in everything she says.
Sister Helen Prejean convinces me the most by using logos. Persuading someone who is for the death penalty that is should not happen is difficult, but when hearing facts about how it doesn’t reduce murder rate and others like that maybe they would be convinced. In Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean states on page 110 that, “In the fall of 1987,

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