Ethos And Pathos In Sherman Alexie's Superman And Me

1183 WordsSep 15, 20175 Pages
As Mary Bethune once said, “The whole world opened up to me when I learned to read.” Through the personal essay of “Superman and Me”, a widespread audience learns the importance of reading and the concept that one does not need to be wealthy to learn. In this personal essay by Sherman Alexie, he uses appeals such as ethos, logos, and pathos and styles such as diction and syntax to achieve the purpose and reach the audience. Ethos, or argument by character is prevalent in this essay because of Sherman Alexie’s extreme credibility. Considering this essay is pieced together by different anecdotes, the author becomes more and more trustworthy as the story progresses. Sherman speaks of growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in eastern…show more content…
“...a paragraph was a fence that held words. The words inside a paragraph worked together for a common purpose”(Sherman 1). Although at the time Sherman did not have the vocabulary to say “paragraph”, he explains how he used a creative version of intelligence in order to understand their concept of organization. Likewise, another appeal used by Sherman is pathos. Pathos, or argument by emotion is most prevailing in the text due to the frequent theme of obstacles presented to the author, and how those struggles evict emotion from the audience. First, Sherman describes his father in a way that excites strong emotion, and possible empathy. “My father loved books, and since I loved my father with an aching devotion, I decided to love books as well” (Sherman 1). In general love is a strong word, adding to sentiment, Sherman then uses the phrase “aching devotion”. When phrased together not only do these words bear positive feelings and connotations, but also gives the reader something to empathize with. Considering Sherman decided to love books because his father did too, it is made clear that he looks up to his elder. Idolizing parents, a common opinion, gives the audience another point to relate to. Furthermore, Sherman switches up his point of view in compliance of a pathos strategy. Throughout the entire text, the author remains

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