Rhetorical Analysis

[Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] Simons and Chabris present a simple, straightforward argument: Our memories fail us quite often. They prove their point in different ways. They appeal to the readers with a combination of logos and pathos. The facts they present naturally come with an emotional attachment [Pathos is an emotional, not a factual appeal.]. [Analyze rather than summarize.] For example, in the opening paragraph we see an example of poor memory by Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson that brings up both President Bush and 9/11. They prove that Dr. Tyson’s recounting of a President Bush quote was incorrect by providing the real quote. But by mentioning “Bush” and “9/11” in the same sentence, the authors were already playing on the hearts of almost every American. Bush had his fair share of controversy during his presidency, and 9/11 was one of the most tragic events to ever happen in the United States. This one-two punch of logos and pathos was all over the article. Another way Chabris and Simons were successful in their argument is because they used big named people to make their points [Use of ethos]. They mentioned a memory blunder that Hillary Clinton encountered. They also made an example out of Dr. Tyson, who is a well-known astrophysicist with one of the brightest minds in the world. These are examples of logos because their mistakes are corrected with facts, but they contain a bit of pathos as well. Grasping the concept that our memories aren’t as great as we think they are is difficult for many people to do. But it’s comforting to know that even those who live at the top of society still make the same simple mistakes we do. Personally, I loved the tone of the article. The authors pretty much say “you can’t trust your own memory. But you can’t trust your favorite politician’s memory nor the smartest guy on the planets memory either. So don’t freak out.” [analysis of comments?]


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