Feb 5, 2007

Rhetorical Analysis: The Oil-Addicated Ayatollahs

“It is hard to come to Moscow and not notice what the last five years of high oil prices have done for middleclass consumption here. Five years ago, it took me 35 minutes to drive from Kremlin to Moscow’s airport. On Monday, it took me two and half hours. There was one long traffic jam from central Moscow to the airport, because a city built for 30,000 cars, which 10 years ago had 300,000 cars, today has three million cars and a ring of new suburbs. How Russia deals with its oil and gas windfall is going to be a huge issue. But today I’d like to focus on how the Soviet Union was killed, in part, by its addiction to oil and why Iran could succumb tot he same disease.”

This paragraph is from the editorial “The Oil-Addicted Ayatollahs” by Thomas L. Friedman in the New York Times. This paragraph contains Pathos, Ethos, and Logos, in order to support his claims. Pathos is set up by using the words “killed,” “addiction,” and “disease.” These words contain a negative connotation which appeals to readers for empathy. The Ethos of Friedman is set up when he talks about his previous trips to Moscow and the drive that he took twice; once five years ago, and then now. He talks about the changes that have taken place within those three years. And then the Logos. Logos is contained by talking about the number of cars. Numbers and statistics are a good way to set up Logos. Another effective strategy is Friedman’s word choice. He uses strong wording which helps establish his ethos as well has interest the reader. He also uses the Soviet Union, which was communist and therefore against the human way of life, and compares it to Iran, which being in the Middle East is also against our way of life. If he had decided to use Alaska and compare it to Iran, it probably wouldn’t have been as effective and would have upset reader as Alaska is part of our United States and therefore part of our daily life—though the controversy about the wildlife parks and getting oil and fossil fuels from there might have helped a bit. Friedman’s article was effective in conveying it’s message about the problem with the countries that have become dependent on oil.

I know this doesn't mean anything, but the internet was down at Heritage Yesterday. So, it's late, but it's here.

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