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This essay is a rhetorical analysis of “Our Own Warrior Princess” and will explore the themes of the text, along with analyze how the article’s rhetorical situation works. “Our Own Warrior Princess” by Maureen Dowd details the courage that Dowd’s niece Jennifer showed pertaining to organ donation. Through the use of pathos, logos, ethos, and SOAPStone, Dowd was effectively able to achieve her goal of persuading the audience to consider organ donation.
Dowd was able to rationalize organ donation by knowing her audience. Audience plays a very crucial role when writing persuasive articles. If proper advantage is not taken care of, authors will not effectively be able to convince the public of their cause. “Our Own Warrior Princess” is a story coated heavily in pathos; and pathos and persuasion go hand in hand. Because she chose to evoke feelings such as empathy, it can be inferred that her audience experienced an inclination to help.
Dowd was able to rationalize organ donation with her use of pathos. Pathos is a rhetorical appeal to emotion and has been proven quite effective. Dowd uses many details to connect readers to her niece’s personal story. This use of pathos was perfect because she uses it has a lasting effect on her audience. Dowd successfully evokes empathy and indices her audience to align with her views. “The night nurse told Jennifer she was an oddity…We don’t see many live donors,” she said “not many people are that generous”. It was intelligent for Dowd to include this because it highlights how not a lot of people donate organs, due to fear. “On Friday, Michel’s birthday, I got the card online, filled it out… if Jennifer is brave enough to do it alive, how can I be scared of doing it dead?”. Dowd then express the fact that since donors do not experience extreme pain or health risks, it is worth it to try and save others’ lives. “One donor can save up to eight lives”. This statistic has a tear-jerking impact on her audience, enticing them to help others.
Dowd was able to rationalize organ donation with the use of ethos. Ethos is another rhetorical device used to appeal to the audience’s character, and convince them that organ donation is a morally sound option. Dowd uses ethos throughout the entirety of this article. “More than 80,000 Americans are on the waiting list for organ donations and most will never get them”. Dowd’s attempt at ethos was successful because she’s able to reach the audience’s sense of right and wrong and helpfulness. She is also able to show how many people are waiting for organs. “Across the U.S 17 men, women and children of all races and ethinc backgrounds die every year from the lack of donations”. This is a very powerful statement that also has the power to convince a reader to consider organ donation.
Dowd was able to rationalize organ donation with the use of logos. Logos is the third and final rhetorical device that pertains to reason, evidence, and logistics. With the use of statistics, Dowd makes an effective use of logos to convince the audience of how important donating is. “One donor can save up to eight lives”. The following statement shows the audience just how impactful one donator could be. “Across the U.S 17 men, women and children of all races and ethinc backgrounds die every year from the lack of donations”. This emphasizes that sad fact that people die waiting for organs.
Dowd was able to rationalize organ donation by using the appropriate tone and word choice. Tone has three main strands: the writer’s attitude toward subject, reader, and self. Dowd’s tone can be described as passionate about organ donation, gentle towards the audience, candid about the facts, and confident in herself. When it comes to tone and word choice, Dowd really took her audience into consideration when it comes to word choice. She used her niece’s story as a personal and attention grabbing beginning to be able to build a connection with the audience, and then she intentionally invoked a factual word choice to peacefully rationalize organ donation.
After analyzing the themes of the text along with how the article’s rhetorical situation works in “Our Own Warrior Princess”, it can be concluded that Dowd was effectively able to achieve her goal of persuading the audience to consider organ donation. This is because Dowd accurately used the rhetorical situation, ethos, pathos, logos and SOAPStone. Dowd ensured that she took proper advantage of who her audience was, and appealed to them appropriately.
Dowd used an extensive use of pathos when explaining Jennifer’s situation. Dowd employed an exemplary use of ethos when appealing to the goodness of human nature. Dowd also used an accurate use of logos by providing reliable statistics. And finally, Dowd included the proper combination of word choice, and tone, that would make her writing both credible and favorable towards her audience. The combination of these powerful rhetorical techniques explains how Dowd wrote a successful persuasive paper.
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