8 October 2014
Evidence of Ethos, Pathos and Logos In “Afghan Girls Who Live as Boys,” Jenny Nordberg informs us a society so gender-based girls are willing to trade in their gender in exchange for freedom through real life stories of people whom experienced this. The author exhibits the 3 main rhetorical styles of ethos, logos and pathos to appeal and connect to her audience. In Nordberg’s article she states, “It reminds me of a story my mother once told me about how she, as a 10-year-old in a more conservative version of Sweden of the 1950s, proclaimed to her mother that she intended to become a boy when she grew up. My mother had only one sister and a dim view of differences between men and women, never having seen her father or any other men without clothes. My grandmother scoffed at her daughter and called her stupid but did not offer any explanation for why the plan wasn’t feasible.” (Nordberg, Par. 2) By portraying ethos in her article of her own previous life experiences she gains her readers trust and credibility. The author uses this story to connect with her audience on a personal level. It demonstrations to her readers that Nordberg is familiar with the idea of wanting to change ones gender. She makes herself an authority on the subject of this article to convince the readers of her character and knowledge on the subject.
Nordberg also appeals to the readers by the use of logos. In her article “Afghan Girls who live as Boys,” the author uses facts of Rome pertaining to the war when women would dress as men in order to fight for their country. Nordberg states “In the first century, Triaria of Rome joined her emperor husband in war, wearing men’s armor. Zenobia was a third-century queen in Syria who grew up as a boy and went on to fight the Roman Empire on horseback. Around the same time in China, Hua Mulan took her father’s place in battle, wearing his clothes. Joan of Arc was famously said to have seen an archangel in 1424, causing her to adopt the look of a male soldier and help fight France’s war against England.” (Nordberg, Par 6) This appeals to the readers because it contains facts that support her claim that there has been a segregated culture in almost every era. Nordberg also reveals both logos and pathos by reflecting back to another well respected author who wrote about the same topic by stating, “According to the author Mara Hvistendahl in Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, 160 million female fetuses have already been aborted throughout Asia, skewing the demographic for generations to come and creating acute problems for societies lacking women.” (Nordberg, Par 5) Nordberg demonstrates logos in this quote by using another creditable authority logic pertaining to the subject of a gender-based society where people look down upon females making it more likely the audience is persuaded to listen and be convinced. This may also be pathos because it involves the topic of abortion which is a word that brings attention and sympathy to the audience.
In Nordberg’s article she states, “Niima poses as a boy purely for the survival of her family. Niima’s father is an unemployed mason who is often away and spends most of his money on drugs, says Niima’s mother. Niima could never work in the store as a girl, nor could her mother, even if she wanted to. It would be impossible for a Pashtun woman, according to the family’s rules. Their daughter displays no enthusiasm for being a boy. To her, it is hard work, with little upside. She would rather look like a girl.” (Nordberg, Par 3) The purpose of pathos in Nordberg’s article is to appeal sympathy from the reader. Nordberg makes it clear Niima doesn’t like to be a boy she strictly does it for the survival of her family. This allows the reader to feel sympathy for Niima because she most likely had no say in her gender change. Nordberg also goes further pertaining to the