Rhetorical Analysis on Why Our Memory Fails us

Thesis: Through the incorporation of all three aspects of the rhetorical triangle, FIRST NAMES Chabris and Simons are able to bring together captivating arguments as to, Why Our Memory Fails Us. BE MORE SPECIFIC.

Like many great writers, Chabris and Simons use the trilateral relationship of the rhetorical triangle to build their case of “Why Our Memory Fails Us”. When reading through the article the appeal to logos and ethos is very transparent in the ways that the authors use the credibility of astrophysicist Neil Tyson, along with high-ranking political figures such as, former President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. By using these political figures it allowed the readers to give credibility to what they were reading. Along with using political figures the authors also went on to use trusted psychologist who had done studies on the exact topic at hand, providing the readers now with facts and case studies, appealing them to logos.

NOTICE I STARTED A NEW PARAGRAPH Once the authors had built their case and presented us, the readers, with the effect of ethos and logos they played on the emotions of the audience by ending the article with pathos by stating that: “how we respond to these events can be telling”. They then go on to tell us that we must, “be more understanding” because “we are all fabulist, and we must all get use to it”. This appeals to our emotions because it allows us to identify with Neil Tyson, President Bush and Hillary Clinton, as a way of putting us in their shoes so we can better understand why they could possibly make these memory mistakes. The tone that the authors used seemed to be from a teaching standpoint. They wanted to prove that because a person’s memory may fail them, it does not automatically mean that they are lying.

When reading through the top three picks of the reader’s comments you can see how the three differentiate completely, which many people found convincing because in those three comments it showed three completely different spectrums of opinions that could relate to so many different people. The first reader pick was by Neil Tyson himself, who appeals to readers through ethos and logos by putting links to his personal social media accounts, where he further discussed the issues on his own behalf. This act of placing links to his personal email portrays to readers that there may be more facts to be heard. The second comment unlike the first is from a man named Keith, who appeals to readers through pathos and logos by stating his distrust for the credibility of the author due to his own opinion and dislike of President Bush appealing to pathos; but in his comment he goes on to add quotes from President Bush himself and links to form facts of his opinion that the former President is not a credible source, which appeals to the idea of logos. The third readers pick is by a man named Jacob who uses the appeal of pathos by giving examples of his own everyday life and what his reasoning behind his belief is.

Like the readers top three picks, the New York Times top three picks also differentiated completely from one another. Although the first two New York Times comments appeal to the readers through pathos, the two commenters have two completely different opinions on the subject at hand. Unlike the third commenter, which appeals to readers through ethos by using a college learning experience performed by a professor to validate her theory on the subject. Furthermore, I believe that the approach that the New York Times uses for their ranking of comments is effective, because it allows people to immediately read three totally different opinions without having to sift through thousands of comments to get an overall idea of what people thought about the article. By reading through the top three readers picks and the New York Times top three picks it seems as if the consensus amongst both rankings is that people are diverse in their thinking, and that is what people are most interested in reading: diverse opinions.


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