Speaking to a group of people with different perceptions, ideas, and values can be a challenge. To gain the approval and support of that audience is the goal for those that attempt to do so. Jonathon Edward??™s and George Bush use very different ways to persuade the targeted audience. Both are very effective.
In Edward??™s speech entitled ???Sinners in the hands of an Angry God,??? he gave a sermon in which he preached to a congregation and to the sinners of the Church whom he felt needed to be reborn. He was mad because the colonists were finding answers to life through science and not religion and felt they needed to change. In the second speech, ???We Shall Overcome,??? President Bush was speaking to the nation as to Iraq??™s invasion of Kuwait. He was telling the nation why the United States needed to intervene in order to keep Saddam Hussein from taking over the Middle East.
Edward??™s and Bush attempted to use different means to communicate their point to an audience and accomplish this through the use of exigency, ethos, and pathos. Although in contrasting ways, Edward??™s and Bush use the power of exigency to target the audience intended. The use of exigency tells a person what the urgency of the situation is and that there is a need for intervention now. Edwards said, ???If God should only withdraw his hand from the floodgate, it would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God, would rush forth with inconceivable fury??? (1).
His speech gives details of what would happen if people do not change their ways immediately. Contrarily, Bush outlines the urgency of stopping Iraq by detailing the attempts that were made to intervene peacefully. He said, ???As we have sat and waited, Saddam moved forces into Kuwait and possesses an arsenal of weapons, including nuclear weapons??? (2). This is an urgent message. A nuclear weapon could destroy mankind instantly.
The people of the United States must know that we can not sit back and watch. Both speeches appeal to the emotion of fear. Fear will drive people to do many things, and the need for survival kicks in. Exigency was met by Edward??™s and Bush in two different ways.
In order for many rhetorical speeches to be effective, the audience must feel an appeal which is based on the character of the speaker, commonly referred to as ethos in literacy terms. Edward??™s and Bush meet the use of ethos by separate means. Although Edwards does not give his credential in his speech, he is a well known preacher and theologian. He gave his sermon at time when guilt was causing people to commit to a new standard of morality. He was considered America??™s most important theologian (Wikepedia). He believed that people should put God before anything else in life (Wikepedia). President Bush on the other hand holds reference to the community because he is the President of the United States and Commander and Chief of the United States Armed Forces.
He was able to use his power as a leading political figure to influence people. He believed that there should be world peace and that every country deserves the right to life in such peace. ???It is my hope that somehow the Iraqi people can, even now, convince their dictator that he must lay down his arms, leave Kuwait, and let Iraq itself rejoin the family of peace loving nations??? (3). One of the roles of the United Nations is to fulfill world peace. Edward??™s and Bush are very influential in their own regard. Both Edwards??™s and Bush??™s speech impact the audience because they are prominent figures. Pathos just might be the most convincing appeal to an audience because humans tend to be driven by emotion.
Pathos allows the reader to feel what the writer feels, and to move the audience to a decision or action. Both speeches achieve pathos by different means. One key to obtaining pathos is through the use of imagery.
Edward??™s speech is full of imagery. He is very detailed in his narrative which allows the reader to connect with what he is trying to portray. He describes Hell in detail. ???There will be no end to this exquisite horrible misery.
When you look forward, you shall see a long forever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all??¦??? (2). He said, ???Haste and escape for your lives, look not behind you, escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed??? (2). He is letting the people know that they either turn towards God or these awful things will happen. President Bush??™s imagery is not as vivid. He is quite straightforward and tends to stick with a lot of facts in his speech. He said, ???While the world waited, Saddam Hussein systematically raped, pillaged, and plundered a tiny nation, no threat to his own??? (2).
???He subjected the people of Kuwait to unspeakable atrocities-and among those maimed and murdered, innocent children??? (2). He is indicating that we either drive Saddam out by force or he will take over Kuwait and possibly the whole Middle East. President Bush also uses bandwagon very often in his speech as a means to gain public support.
In one reference he said, ???Five countries from five different continents were standing shoulder to shoulder against Hussein??? (2). He is letting the people know that they need to conform to what everyone else is doing. Much of what Edward??™s says can leaves room for a lot of scrutiny because this is one man??™s interpretation of the Bible. There is not much factual information, evidence, or reference to anyone or anything else other than the Bible. The impact of using factual information in President Bush??™s speech is fairly positive. People are often persuaded by straight forward factual information and appeals to logic. Edward??™s and Bush have very different means of using pathos to gain public support. In Jonathon Edward??™s speech ???Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God??? and President Bush??™s speech ???We Shall Overcome???, persuasion was used by the reference to exigency, ethos and pathos.
Edward??™s and President Bush convinced the audience of a need to intervene with exigency. Their ethos was such that people listened and believed. The use of pathos backed up the exigency and ethos with imagery, facts and bandwagon. Although both speeches were effective, I feel that President Bush??™s speech was more effective. His use of exigency has more meaning because he is relating to the whole world, not just a specific religious group. There was immediate danger if the United States did not intervene.
Jonathon Edwards wrote his speech to convince people to act a certain way or they would be punished by God. Jonathon Edward??™s ability to establish a connection is based on the fact that he is a well known theologian. President Bush??™s ethos is that he is the President of the United States. His decisions greatly affect each and every one of us. He is heard throughout the world! In using pathos, President Bush did a better job.
He gave much factual support and applied logic and meaning to his decision to invade Iraq. He used quotes by influential people to get people to understand the magnitude. He told of innocent people being tortured and spoke of peace for the world. Although I am a very religious person and Edward??™s speech made me think, President Bush??™s reason for his speech needs not much explanation.
We all want to make it to Heaven one day, but many people are living only for the present. Giving one man, Saddam Hussein power over the countries, would devastate not only the people of Kuwait, but all of the world.