Rhetorical Analysis

Rhetorical Analysis

Sometimes life gets tough and gives us obstacles and challenges just to see how we overcome them. It only takes one mistake for someone’s life to be turned upside down. Watching people go through hardships and life challenges helps us get on the right path and succeed. The book The Other Wes Moore written by Wes Moore himself, is based on real life challenges that two boys ironically with the same name and hometown were faced with and how their decisions on overcoming them lead them to two completely different places.

One living free and being able to experience things and the other living unfortunately behind bars. Wes Moore uses the rhetorical appeals ethos, logos, and pathos to engage the readers attention on how two boys with so many similarities can grow up and live two completely opposite lives. Wes Moore is a talented and educated man and accomplished an enormous amount of things while growing up. He was a Rhodes Scholar and was recognized in the Hall of Fame, but that never fazed him it just made him want to achieve bigger and better things. He looked past that and reached out to someone whose life didn’t go as planned.

By doing this he gave the other Wes Moore something to live for, something that would help him forget his past and make him feel like he was a good person again. Wes Moore wrote this book to inspire people and let them learn from other people’s mistakes. He clearly found a wide range of audiences since his book became a New York Times Best seller. This book was made for anyone going through a tough time, struggling for hope, or just an excellent book to read. Wes Moore’s intentions for this book was to show people not to give up on themselves and anythings possible.

People choose their own destiny, that you can be what you want to be, so don’t give up even if you hit a pump in the road. Wes Moore studied at two distinguished universities, first John Hopkins then Oxford University where he received a full scholarship. He strongly shows his intelligence by his language and his choice of vocabulary which helps the book appeal to all ages. Moore makes it clear, in the introduction, that this book was written to “use our two lives as a way of thinking about choices and accountability” (xiv) and not a way to supply excuses for the tragedy that happened on February 7, 2000.

This quote and the whole last paragraph in the introduction demonstrates ethos right from the beginning. The way Wes Moore doesn’t judge the other Moore for what he has done and the way Wes Moore interacts with the audience to make sure they do the same shows his credibility. He knows what the other Moore did was a terrible and hurtful thing and tore many family and friends apart, but he wanted his audience to learn from this tragedy and from Moore’s mistakes. In the end, he wanted to show his audience that you can come from hardships in life and still better yourself, but you just need to get up and try.

Since the author decided to make his appeal to logos more deeper and complex it was difficult to identify it through the text. Wes Moore can make an argument that the two boys grew up with similar home lives by looking at different relationships within the families. Since Wes Moore, the author, was a little boy he was making decisions on his own and being the man of the house. His father passed away when Moore was at a young age so he never had a male role model. He only had his mother to look up to who was still growing up herself.

On the other hand the other Wes Moore had a loving mother who cared dearly about him but at the same time was very young and still trying to figure out her own life. Overall both Wes Moore’s had to overcome tough challenges and make the best of it. This comparison of their relationships with their families helped with the appeal to logos because it showed how two people with similar childhoods can handle almost identical situations differently and end up in complete opposite places. Anyone could read this book and feel emotionally touched by the stories that are told.

The author has a strong appeal to pathos throughout the whole book. The audience can either feel shocked by how their lives went in such opposite directions or sorry for the obstacles these boys had to go through growing up. The author decides to start the book with a lot of affection to show the audience that both of these boy’s childhoods were similar and that their lives could of easily been flipped. Wes Moore caught the readers attention at the beginning by trying to get them to figure out how their two lives went in two different directions.

Having a strong appeal to pathos is a good benefit because reaching out to the audience through emotion is so much more affective then logic or credibility. People are more connected on how people feel then their knowledge or trustworthiness. For example, when the author said “HIs body was sprawled and withering at the foot of the stairs” (13), no reader is going to just close the book and stop reading. He or she is going to want to continue reading to figure out why the father died and how the little boy is going to overcome this obstacle.

Pathos has a much more affect on the readers then ethos or logos. By reading just the introduction and understanding the lives of these two boys the reader can feel the great amount of emotion put into this book. From the beginning the reader is trapped and doesn’t want to put down the book with the help of the authors use of rhetorical appeals. The differences that lie in their future of these two similar men leaves the audience hanging on what caused so much change in their two lives.