Fast Food Nation: Ethos, Pathos, Logos
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Fast Food Nation: Ethos, Pathos, Logos
Aristotle, one of the greatest influential figure of Greek rhetoric had developed a wide range of ideas in rhetoric, one of which is the artistic proofs or the forms of proofs that the speakers create, which include ethos, pathos and logos. In this, Aristotle pointed out the three ways of influencing the beliefs and actions, these include: ethos (character and standard), pathos (emotion) and logos (reason and evidence) (Zhu, 2005, 13). In detailed, ethos pertains on the ethical appeal or the voice of the persuader, the linguistically mediated message of his or her believability, reliability and competence; pathos pertains on the emotional appeal to the audience; and logos the appeal towards the rationality of the audience (Halmari & Virtanen, 2005, 6).
It is important to consider that morality that is based on pathos can be misguided without the application of logos and transitory without ethos. Morality that is based on logos can be impotent and useless without pathos and manipulative without ethos. Furthermore, morability based on ethos can be inflexible and indisputable without pathos and logos. Therefore, it is important to consider that pathos, logos and ethos, together, are much stronger than any one of which as individual (Planalp, 1999, 191).
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (2001) was a popular book written by investigate journalist Eric Schlosser which evaluate the local and global influence of the fast food industry of the US. This paper will analyze how Schlosser utilizes two of the three tenets of rhetoric.
Ethos in Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
Ethos is the appeal mainly based on the character of the speaker. In the case of documentations, the ethos appeal mainly depends towards the reputation and background information about the author.
Eric Schlosser is one of the most important names of investigative journalism. He had been investigating the fast food industry for number of years. In 1998, the Rolling Stone had published its article regarding the subject, which generated more mail than any other items and articles in the history of the magazine. He is also a contributor to The New Yorker and had been working as a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly since 1996. Due to his works and experiences, he had won a National Magazine Award for his “Reefer Madness” and “Marijuana and the Law” and has received a Sidney Hillman Foundation Award for Reporting. Above all, his works has been nominated for different National Magazine Award as well as for the Loeb Award for business journalism (McSpotlight.org, n.d.). As a result of this, it can be said that Schlosser is considered as one of the most reputable name in the industry of journalism. Furthermore, he also shows background and adequate knowledge and experience with the industry, which give him more credibility and dependability in writing about various issues regarding the topic. This pertains on him having direct contact with the people involved in his investigation, supplied with the historical facts.
Logos in Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
Logos is synonymous towards logical arguments. It pertains on how the speaker or author’s makes sense or if the message are all based on facts, statistics and evidence. This is considered as very important in the current time, because readers and viewers are becoming more and more aware of the different facts, than just the matter of argument or entertainment. Furthermore, information can also be accessed by the readers via the Internet.
In the search of Schlosser about the bitter truth and dark side of fast food companies in the US, he considered different important areas of the said industry, not just focusing on how the industry cater the changing needs and demands of the customers, but also the different processes, procedures and policies connected to the way the products are made and the way how the employees are meet.
First, the author enables to present the different global concerns about the negative impact of fast food towards the health of the public which include obesity. He also manage to connect other important aspect of the supply chain of the company, which is the maker of flavours, wherein, he mentioned to be highly secretive, thus investigate International Flavors and Fragrances or IFF, the largest flavor company in the world. According to the author:
“IFF's snack and savory lab is responsible for the flavor of crisps, corn chips, breads, crackers, breakfast cereals and pet food. The confectionery lab devises the flavor for ice cream, biscuits, sweets, toothpastes, mouthwashes and antacids”
“The beverage lab is full of brightly colored liquids in clear bottles. It comes up with the flavor for popular soft drinks, sport drinks, bottled teas and wine coolers, for all natural juice drinks, organic soy drinks, beers and malt liquors.”
“In addition to being the world's largest flavor company, IFF manufactures the smell of six of
the 10 bestselling perfumes in the US, including Estee Lauder's Beautiful, Clinique's Happy, Lancome's Tresor and Calvin Klein's Eternity.”
“All of these aromas are made through the same basic process: the manipulation of volatile chemicals to create a particular smell.”
With this, it will not just bring up the aspect of logos but also pathos, because it will evoke feelings and emotions of fear and shock.
Halmari, Helena & Virtanen, Tuija (2005). Persuasion Across Genres: A Linguistic Approach. John Benjamins Publishing Company.
McSpotlight.org. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Scholosser. http://www.mcspotlight.org/ (Accessed on July 23, 2010).
Planalp, Sally (1999). Communication Emotion: Social, Moral and Cultural Processes. Cambridge University Press.
Zhu, Yunxia (2005). Written Communication Across Cultures: A Sociocognitive Perspective on Business Genre, John Benjamins Publishing Company.