¶ … Hochswender piece persuasive? Why is it persuasive and in what passages do ethos, pathos, and logos come in to play in terms of assuring that it is persuasive (or not persuasive)? This paper critiques the Hochswender essay and finds it is not persuasive; and in fact it comes off as a conservative rant against two progressive personalities who advocate for reducing dependence on foreign oil and for cars that use less fuel than gas-guzzling SUVs.
Why Hochswender's argument is more hyperbole than substance
First of all Hochswender does not establish ethos in his piece -- he fails miserably at trying to be a credible source -- because while he negatively references progressives like Arianna Huffington and Lawrence Bender in his opening paragraph, he doesn't quote anything that either of them said vis-a-vis his assertion that they have "…linked SUVs with Mideast terrorism." He uses the film "Pulp Fiction" -- a movie produced by Bender that is known for its violent...
Anyone familiar with Hollywood movies knows that Bender has been nominated for 19 Academy Awards, including nine nominations (and two Oscars) for "Good Will Hunting," a masterpiece that stands as one of the best films Matt Damon has made.
Further embarrassing himself -- and continuing to show he is not a believable source by illustrating his lack of ethos -- Hochswender rages that anyone that would criticize the use of gas-sucking SUVs is "trendy" and "illogical." Moreover, Hochswender dips deep into the well of hyperbole by describing America as a place known for "breathtaking freedoms." He goes about trying to prove that SUVs are "safer in many situations than cars" by embracing catchy phrases like "reasoned individualism" (i.e., SUVs are "safer" than cars and "a lot of intelligent people realize that"). Who are those "intelligent people"; how does individualism relate to this subject?
As to pathos -- a writer attempting to appeal to an audience through emotional narrative -- Hochswender again falls short. He writes "So, busybodies…how big is your house?" -- as though those who might not be in agreement with his raging, fumbling attack might own a house that uses too much fuel. Using "busybodies" as a reference to get people's attention is an insult and it stirs the wrong kind of…
Hochswender, W. (2003). Did My Car Join Al Qaeda? The New York Times. Retrieved January 16, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com
Open Bible. (2010). Seek Truth / False Teachings. Retrieved January 16, 2014, from http://www.openbible.info.
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