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The speaker's goal in the art of public speaking is to inspire the listener to believe and consider the message presented. This mode of persuasion provided by spoken or written words consists of three components: ethos, logos, and pathos. Ethos refers to the speaker's actual identity, in which the speaker attempts to establish credible credibility that would compel the listener to listen to them. The second component, pathos, involves emotional appeal, in which the speaker appeals to the audience's emotions. The speaker influences the audience's decision by eliciting feelings, and they begin to trust in the message. Thirdly, logos is the use of logic to appeal to the audience. For the audience to believe in the message, the speaker must make sound arguments through using credible sources to back up the message of the speech. “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns” by Molly Ivins is a persuasive speech that uses ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade the audience that guns should not be allowed amidst the public.
In the speech, Ivins uses ethos to create a believable character to her audience by declaring that she is a “civil libertarian” which means she is a strong believer of free will (Muller and Harvey, paragraph 2). She further asserts that she is a supporter of the Second Amendment of the American constitutions that guarantee freedom of having firearms as long as there is regulation and people are responsible enough. This way she appeals to the audience to believe in her character as responsible and supporter of free will among the people. Through showing that she supports the free will of the people, the audience she convinces her audience to believe in her personality because at the end of the day she wants the people to make a sound judgment on the issue of the guns.
To persuade the audience, Ivins uses pathos to influence the audience make a judgment that is based on her standpoint. For instance, she uses rhetoric to question the logic of guns regulations as a way of showing the audience that it not possible to regulate guns once they get into the hands of people. “Fourteen-year-old boys are not part of well-regulated militia” yet because of easy access to the guns such young people can kill people. “A well-regulated militia” sure implies both long training and long discipline.” “The argument that “gun don’t kill people”…Did the gun kill someone?” (Muller and Harvey, paragraph 8). Using these examples, the speaker tries to emotionally convince the audience that it is not possible to regulate guns or regulate people’s actions when they have guns.
The third element of persuasive speech is logos where the speaker uses logic to persuade the audience to believe in the message. The speaker says “in truth, there is no rational argument for guns in this society. This is no longer a frontier nation in which people hunt their own food. It is crowded..letting people have access to guns is a continuing disaster” (Muller and Harvey, paragraph 9). This logical reasoning is meant to appeal to the audience that there is no need for guns. Furthermore, guns only contribute to the killing of people. The overwhelmingly crowded urban cities make it even difficult to ensure gun controls measures are implemented effectively. The comparison between guns and automobile is another logical impression used by the speaker to appeal to the audience. Conflicts end up in deaths simply because of easy access to guns which if were absent things would be different because people will have a chance to think twice before taking the lives of others.
Conclusively, for a persuasive speech to leave an impact on the target audience, the speaker should be able to appeal to the audience through use emotions and logic. However, the speaker must have the credibility that will make the audience listen. This is reflected in the case of Ivins who uses ethos, pathos, and logos to effectively persuade the audience into believing that guns are not supposed to be in the hands of the public.
Muller, Gilbert and Harvey, Wiener. The Short Prose Reader. 10th Edition. McGraw-Hill. 2003. Print,
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