Analysis Of The Tipping Point

Decent Essays

The Tipping Point
Society is stocked full of various trends and epidemics. To many, the way in which these trends start is a mystery. As members of a society, we often subconsciously take part in these patterns without questioning our participation. Therefore, people continue to ignore the drastic changes in society, and the reasons why they occur so swiftly. There is a lack of motivation to take a step back and inquire about society as a whole, and rethink one’s actions. In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell effectively discusses and analyzes how and why ideas spread throughout societies using the rhetorical appeals, ethos, pathos and logos.
To start with, Gladwell uses ethos, an appeal to ethics, as a device to effectively explain how …show more content…

Additionally, Gladwell uses the emotional appeal of pathos to effectively prove his theories about societal patterns and trends. In his writing, the first person point of view is used, making the words feel more personal and connected to the conversation. For example, Gladwell says “Synchrony has even been found in the interactions of humans and apes. It’s part of the way we are hardwired” (83) and “...we’re deceiving ourselves about the real causes of human behavior” (Gladwell 158). The usage of pronouns such as “we” and “our” allows the reader to feel involved in the writing, rather than just merely scanning through Gladwell’s analysis. Another example of emotional appeal is when Gladwell describes the teen smoking epidemic through the stickiness factor theory, which involves the level of effectiveness of an idea or product to remain “stuck” in the mind of the viewer or consumer. Gladwell states that “The problem -- the fact that has turned smoking into public health enemy number one -- is that many of those teenagers end up continuing their cigarette experiment until they get hooked. The smoking experience is so memorable and powerful for some people that they cannot stop smoking. The habit sticks” (Gladwell 233). Using strong words such as “enemy” paints a dark picture of the epidemic, making the reader fear for the teens who are

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