Persuasive Speech Ethos

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“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards and “The American Crisis” by Thomas Paine are two persuasive works that tried to sway the opinions and actions of their readers. Both authors used powerful writing to illustrate what would happens to those who did not change. While Edward’s piece focused on religion and Paine’s on war, both discussed the reasons why people should conform to the views expressed by the two authors. Though vastly different in their nature and audience, the two texts were featured around the same idea: people need to change. In the works, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and “The American Crisis,” Edwards and Paine use the persuasive appeals ethos, pathos, and logos, and literary devices such as simile, metaphor, imagery, and personification to persuade their American audience. Jonathan Edwards, a preacher during the Great Awakening in 1741, wrote the sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” He created the sermon with the intention of persuading parishioners to repent and wholeheartedly devote their lives to God. To do this, Edwards used the fear of eternal damnation and his portrayal of God as an enraged entity. Edwards used imagery, visually descriptive or figurative language, to represent what would await all those who would not give up their sinful ways and beg forgiveness from God. He stated that God’s hand was all that kept people from plummeting into “that world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, that is
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