The book Reminders Of Poverty, Soon Forgotten by Alexander keyssar explores a great disaster that hit New Orleans in the United States in the year 2005. The author Alexander Keyssar skillfully applies the three classical principles of argumentation; the ethos, the pathos and the logos. He uses the power of these key principles to analyze the issue and convince readers about his ideas. As he analyses the great disaster that hit America, he carefully uses these three principles of argumentation to show how logic, empathy and ethics should exist in any event. The paper tries to explain how the author managed to convince the minds of the readers that his ideas fight to become the best. The paper tries to connect how these principles relate not only to one another, but also o the authority. Citing specific examples, the paper shall explore the book, explaining the initial ideas of the author.
The principle of ethos deals with morals, values and ethics when dealing with the matter at stake. This principle persuades the reader of the author’s credibility and lays his judgments on the guiding beliefs of a group or an institution. The author uses the correct language and vocabulary. The writer becomes polite and this enables him earn credibility towards his audience and readers. According to Amanpor (2005) the polite words the author uses convinces readers to believe his ideas. He uses words like “able authorities”, “unexpected disaster” and “the work of nature” to narrate the hurricane. These words are polite and a person would understand that nature caused the disaster.
This principle relates to the pathos, where the author uses words like “work of nature” to describe that was not a human failure. The author tries to show how the innocent citizens were hit by unexpected disaster, making them suffer. This principle also relates to the principle of logic, by the words “able authorities”. These authorities who are the government had the ability to improve the living standards of the people who lived in New Orleans. If the government had provided job opportunities for those people, only few people would have suffered.
Pathos is a principle that deals with the emotive part of an event. The author allures readers’ emotions in several instances. The author manages to win and convince the readers on his ideas when he becomes compassionate and uses pity in his writings. The author includes other disastrous events that happened in history increasing the levels of poverty. However, the government took no action the government took to cease the issues. He explains the plight of the victims “the storm’s most desperate the poor and the black, wading through muddy water crying children and plastic bags containing a few meager possessions.” He explains his dissatisfaction with president bush as he had not done enough to combat and address the problem. “He says, Bush has not done enough for people who are still battling in poverty (Alexander, 2009)”
This principle relates to the principle of ethos. The government had not done enough to secure its citizens from that disaster. The author uses polite language when describing Bush’s government. He admits that the government only did what was capable of doing, and that was a natural disaster, that was unexpected. The government therefore did its efforts after the aftermath by evacuating its citizens enabling them to continue their lives.
This principle uses rational decisions, application of logic and reasoning as an icon of truth. The word logos means the expression of an inward thought that comes from the mind. As the author applies the logos, the readers think that truth is behind reasoning, therefore believing on the author’s views. The author applies the principle of logos in several instances. The author complains about the massive taxes cut by the government. However, the government does not distribute these taxes equally to the citizens. He says “while taxes were cut, public infrastructure, like the levees were eroding, and already frayed safety net was disintegrating” (Allen 2007).
This principle relates to the principle of ethos. According to Alexander (2009), the author describes poverty as a collective responsibility, does not blame the government or the citizens for this standards of living. It also relates to the principle of pathos when describing taxation by the government. He says that the citizens were heavily taxed, but this taxation did not reflect in the developments. The reader would feel pity for the citizens who paid taxes but not paid back by the government.
RELATIONSHIP OF THE THREE PRINCIPLES WITH THE AUTHORITY
The government, which withholds the authority, had power to control damages that its citizens incurred. The government collected massive taxes from the middle earning citizens in order to enhance the governance. However, the authority did not work to improve the living standards of all middle class living in the New Orleans. The authorities could have improved the living standards of these people. The authorities could have provided new job opportunities for the employed population. It was the responsibility of authorities to improve the welfare of the already working class who got peanut payments (Bates 2007).
The government, through its responsible bodies, could have become compassionate and see the real tragedy that affected its citizens. According to Bates (2007) this is the classical principle of pathos that explains how the government could have felt pity for the suffering citizens.
Alexander, A. (2009) Uncovering Black Race; A black Journalist Story Of Reporting And Re-
invention. Boston: Beacon Press Publishers
Allen, B. (2007). Dynamics of Disaster; Lessons on Risk, Response and Recovery. Routledge
Publishers: New York
Amanpour, C. (2007). CNN Reports; Hurricane Katrina; State of Emergency. Thomas Lynch
Bates, K. (2007). Through The Eye OF Katrina; Social Justice In The USA. New York