Rhetorical Analysis

Sometimes are memory fails us and sometimes our memory is what saves us. In an article by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons they argue how our memory does indeed fail us. They argue a incident that happened with Neil Tyson and a particular Bush quote. There credibility is accounted for when they mention numerous amounts of facts and a study based on this exact phenomenon. Toward the ending of the article we can see that they do have a point in there findings but commenters don’t seem to agree with them a hundred percent.

After reading the article “Why our memory fails usCAPITALIZE IMPORTANT WORDS” by Chabris & Simons, the article speaks on how our memory isn’t what it seems. The article begins with the introduction of Neil Tyson an astrophysicist and a TV host and continues to a specific broadcast of when he spoke about President Bush speech after 9/11, criticizing the quote “Our god is the god who named the stars”. Tyson claims that this is what Bush had said and was later proven wrong. They don’t seem to play on the emotions of the audience but rather depend on more on facts and studies.

A way of establishing credibility is mentioning that Simons served on a panel at the National Academy of Sciences to research procedures that would help minimize memory failures in jury’s, or lineups. This is an Ethical appeal because it would give him some sort of trustworthiness since its coming straight from a source. With that being mentioned, it gives the reader the confidence to believe what is being told. The goal of this research panel was to see how our memory failures have wrongfully committed people of crimes & even death sentences. This is also an example an emotional appeal (Pathos), by using something terrifying like the thought of someone who’s completely innocent being convicted of a crime he or she did not do and sentenced to death it makes them wonder, feel more sensation and it increases their curiousness of the articles purpose. VERY GOOD.

The article has a certain emotional level to it because of the study, it makes us wonder times where we have slipped on our own memory. I believe that the purpose of this article is to explain and inform. The whole article is based on Tysons memory failure and his public apology, but it also informs us with the evidence thrown that out memory failing us is nothing but old news. This article is a great example on how all aspects of the Rhetorical Triangle were used in informing us why our memory fails.

The first comment of the article is by Tyson. He posted two Facebook links that leads to an email shared between him and Sean Davis and evidence that his claims are true. The second comment is by “Keith Dow”, which is an example of logos. He posts a link of verifiable Bush quotes and then lists other quotes questioning the intelligence of every party mentioned in the article. The third comment is from “Jacob Sommer”. His comment is more emotional because he’s reasoning with the fact that our memory does fail us at times and that we should learn to let the small things go. To compare these comments to the top three NYT picks they have a difference. One thing that is true they all go against an aspect of the article. They claim that it’s something that shouldn’t be really made into a big deal because were humans and we need to learn how to accept who we are. These comments are examples of emotional appeals because the audience are reacting to what is being said.


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