March 24, 2013
Finding Hope through it All Mary Pipher is an author as well as a psychologist which is why she can write about her topics so well. This clip, “Mr. USA”, is from her book, Writing to Change the World. This book is basically just about topics she feels passionate about and how you can change the world by writing about them. In this piece, she evaluates the United States after the terrorist attack on September 11th. The country was confused and vulnerable after that and made hasty decisions that didn’t always lead to the best outcomes.
Mary uses interesting methods to get our attention and help us better relate. She personifies the nation with actions, problems, and decisions. For this analysis of the country she calls him Mr. USA. “He is a middle aged man who is over-weight but well dressed and arrogant. He has his moments where he can be charming and humorous but then other times he is exhausted and anxious.” He had been through a lot though and is still trying to heal those wounds and scars. Mr. USA hasn’t gone about healing in the best ways and is now addicted to multiple things.
For this section of her book, Mary uses Ethos and Logos almost hand in hand with the same issues. For this particular article, you can’t really have credibility without logic. The credibility she uses is Mr. USA’s past and history. Events he’s been to and dealt with such as Pearl Harbor or the Civil War. Those are real things that happened which makes them facts. She talks about his early years, his trials, his friendships, or lack of now, and his weaknesses. Along with all that are ways that the negative can be turned around and made into brighter, better situations. She mentions some therapies and lifestyle choices that can turn him around.
Another thing that goes along with credibility is her major. She has a PhD in psychology and has received citations. She is also a Rockefeller Scholar, along with other achievements. She went to both UC Berkeley, and UNL. Pipher has been in the field of psychology for many years now and clearly knows what she is talking about. Knowing that she has a PhD and went to good schools helps us know that she is professional and knowledgeable.
She really touches on pathos just with the fact that she gave a personality and features to this piece of land. When Pipher brings up his friendships and lost friendships it makes you think of your own friendships that have been ruined. Maybe over time or all in one moment and you didn’t even know what happened until it was too ruined to fix. That works your emotions because it brings up regret or anger or sadness, all of which are strong emotions. Those same feelings can go along with the scars and wounds he has that you might have as well. Under “Personal Strengths” Mary goes on to say that “Even in his worst times, Mr. USA has been capable of heroic acts, kindness, and creative problem solving.” That can either relate to you personally or someone you know. Some are the type of people who, when their life is falling apart, they help others to feel better. Others won’t give into hard times and troubles and do everything they can to fix it.
The way that Mrs. Pipher has organized this article has an impact and effect on how we react and perceive it. She starts off by mildly introducing the subject of focus, Mr. USA. She goes through his current problems, and his past, along with his character. She then diagnosis him with post-traumatic stress disorder and multiple addictions. Mary lays out his strengths and treatment plans with milestones that he will achieve, wrapping it up with a prognosis. By doing it in this order she has kept it very organized and neat and as it goes along it gets more positive and focuses on the good. This helps you understand that she is examining and trying to help rather than just criticizing. By ending with his strengths and a plan to help him limit his weaknesses and heal his