The Effectiveness of The Rhetorical Devices Used in “Our Own Warrior Princess”
Over the past year, This essay is a rhetorical analysis of “Our Own Warrior Princess” and will explore the themes of the text, along with analyzing how the article’s rhetorical situation works. “Our Own Warrior Princess” by Maureen Dowd details the courage that Dowd’s niece Jennifer showed pertaining to organ donation. Through the use of pathos, logos, ethos, and SOAPStone, Dowd was effectively able to achieve her goal of persuading the audience to consider organ donation.
Dowd was able to rationalize organ donation by knowing her audience. The audience plays a very crucial role when writing persuasive articles. If proper advantage is not taken care of, authors will not effectively be able to convince the public of their cause. “Our Own Warrior Princess” is a story coated heavily in pathos, and pathos and persuasion go hand in hand. Because she chose to evoke feelings such as empathy, it can be inferred that her audience experienced an inclination to help.
Dowd was able to rationalize organ donation with her use of pathos. Pathos is a rhetorical appeal to emotion and has been proven quite effective. Dowd uses many details to connect readers to her niece's personal story. This use of pathos was perfect because she uses it to have a lasting effect on her audience. Dowd successfully evokes empathy and invites her audience to align with her views. “The night nurse told Jennifer she was an oddity...We don't see many live donors,'' she said “not many people are that generous” (Dowd 255). It was intelligent for Dowd to include this because it highlights how not a lot of people donate organs, due to fear. “On Friday, Michels birthday, I got the card online, and filled it out… if Jennifer is brave enough to do it alive, how can I be scared of doing it dead?” (Dowd 256). Dowd then expresses the fact that since donors do not experience extreme pain or health risks, it is worth it to try and save others’ lives. “One donor can save up to eight lives” (Dowd 256). This statistic has a tear-jerking impact on her audience, enticing them to help others.
Dowd was able to rationalize organ donation with the use of ethos. Ethos is another rhetorical device used to appeal to the audience’s character and convince them that organ donation is a morally sound option. Dowd uses ethos throughout the entirety of this article. “More than 80,000 Americans are on the waiting list for organ donations and most will never get them” (Dowd 256). Dowd’s attempt at ethos was successful because she was able to reach the audience’s sense of right and wrong and helpfulness. She is also able to show how many people are waiting for organs. “Across the U.S 17 men, women, and children of all races and ethnic backgrounds die every year from the lack of donations” (Dowd 256). This is a very powerful statement that also has the power to convince a reader to consider organ donation.
Dowd was able to rationalize organ donation with the use of logos. Logis is the third and final rhetorical device that pertains to reason, evidence, and logistics. With the use of statistics, Dowd makes effective use of logos to convince the audience of how important donating is.“One donor can save up to eight lives” (Dowd 256). The following statement shows the audience just how impactful one donator could be. “Across the U.S 17 men, women, and children of all races and ethnic backgrounds die every year from the lack of donations” (Dowd 256). This emphasizes the sad fact that people die waiting for organs.
Dowd was able to rationalize organ donation by using the appropriate tone and word choice. The tone has three main strands: the writer's attitude toward the subject, the reader, and the self. Dowd’s tone can be described as passionate about organ donation, gentle towards the audience, candid about the facts, and confident in herself. When it comes to tone and word choice, Dowd really took her audience into consideration when it comes to word choice. She used her niece’s story as a personal and attention-grabbing beginning to be able to build a connection with the audience, and then she intentionally invoked a factual word choice to peacefully rationalize organ donation.
After analyzing the themes of the text along with how the article’s rhetorical situation works in “Our Own Warrior Princess”, it can be concluded that Dowd was effectively able to achieve her goal of persuading the audience to consider organ donation. This is because Dowd accurately used the rhetorical situation, ethos, pathos, logos, and SOAPStone. Dowd ensured that she took proper advantage of who her audience was, and appealed to them appropriately.
Dowd used extensive use of pathos when explaining Jennifer’s situation. Dowd employed an exemplary use of ethos when appealing to the goodness of human nature. Dowd also used an accurate use of logos by providing reliable statistics. And finally, Dowd included the proper combination of word choice and tone, that would make her writing both credible and favorable to her audience. The combination of these powerful rhetorical techniques explains how Dowd wrote a successful persuasive paper.