Rhetorical Analysis Of ' An Indian 's Looking Glass For The White Man '

1810 WordsOct 2, 20178 Pages
Some may wonder, does the use of rhetorical devices like logos, pathos, and ethos enhance an argument? Well, does a bear shit in the woods? William Apess fills “An Indian’s Looking-glass for the White Man” with all three forms of rhetoric, but perhaps the one of most significance is ethos. Apess spends a good deal of time using ethos to establish a connection between himself and the intended audience, white Christians; this collective identity that Apess forms allows him to make better use of pathos and ethos in his writing. Even though Apess’s ideas may not have presented well to his audience, his arguments based in logos and pathos would have gone over rather poorly had he not established a clear connection between himself and his…show more content…
Furthermore, Apess goes on to describe what he views as the traits and values of this Christian identity he belongs to. Apess writes, “Perhaps some unholy, unprincipled men would cry out, ‘The skin was not good enough’; but stop, friends – I am not talking about the skin but about principles” (500). From this statement one can infer what Apess sees as a trait of this group – that holy, principled, abiding Christian men care about principles, similar to the just God judging righteousness rather than outward appearance. Apess also lists off some of God’s precepts, to lay out what the traits and values the Bible says Christians should uphold: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. The second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two precepts hang all the law and the prophets’ (Mathew 22.37, 38, 39, 40). ‘By this all men know that they are my disciples, if ye have love one to another’ (John 13.35) …’He who loveth God loveth his brother also’ (1 John 4.21) …’If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar’ (1 John 4.20) …The first thing that takes our attention is the saying of Jesus, ‘Thou shalt love,’ etc. (501-2) From the quoted scripture, Apess is highlighting the traits God expects His followers to practice: devotion to Him, love all as God loves you or you love yourself, and treat all men as they are of God.

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