Classical Principles of Argument
“What the Waters Revealed”
It was 2005, the year that change the world and people lives forever. Hurricane Katrina was one of the most devastating natural disasters that not only destroyed homes, businesses; it also destroyed people lives physically and mentally. In the essay, “What the Water Revealed,” the author Jim Wallis, argues that the silent story of poverty in America was brought to light in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He uses all three of the appeals ethos, pathos, and logos to support his convincing argument to reflect the reality of poverty and race in America and today’s society. Ethos occurs to represent the credibility of the author to reinsure he is trustworthy. Pathos is used to express the emotional and imaginative impact of a message on an audience. Authors use logos to persuade their audience by using effective reasoning and supporting evidence.
Jim Wallis uses the ethos argument by expressing his creditability by being a veteran of the civil rights and antiwar movement of the 1960s. Wallis recently helped form Call to Renewal; an organization of affiliated churches and religious organizations that strives to help the poor. This information displays authority and that he is trustworthy and respected as an expert who has knowledge about the issue involved. He made several points by using his knowledge as a civil rights supporter and being affiliated to help the poor. One point is when he states, “Katrina revealed what was already there in America: an invisible and often silent poverty that most of us in the richest nation on earth have chosen not to talk about, let alone take responsibility for. After the storm hit, we all saw it and so did the rest of the world. It made Americans feel both compassion and shame.” This statement reflects his character and gains the respect of his readers by expressing the importance of poverty in the United States. When he states, “the poor has been near the bottom of our priority list, if they are on the list at all. It will take a moral and even religious imperative to change our priorities, but the time has come to do so. But we have also been paralyzed by the debate between liberals and conservatives on what solutions to pursue, with the Right favoring cultural changes and the Left endorsing policy changes.” Wallis is expressing his informational approach about the topic and makes his readers understand and believe in his argument. Jim Wallis uses pathos when he writes, “the faces of those stranded in New Orleans were overwhelmingly poor and black, the very old and the very young. They were the ones who could not evacuate: had no cars or money for gas: no money for bus, train, or airfare; no budget for hotels or no friends or family with room to share or spare. They were already vulnerable before this calamity; now they were totally exposed and on their own. For days, nobody came for them. And the conditions of the places they were finally herded to (“like animals”, many