The ideas of logos, pathos, and ethos go all the way back to the ancient Greeks, and it might be worth looking at Aristotle's treatise on rhetoric for the origin of these terms. In Richard Rodriguez's 1982 autobiography Hunger of Memory , Rodriguez employs all three of these rhetorical...
The ideas of logos, pathos, and ethos go all the way back to the ancient Greeks, and it might be worth looking at Aristotle's treatise on rhetoric for the origin of these terms. In Richard Rodriguez's 1982 autobiography Hunger of Memory, Rodriguez employs all three of these rhetorical devices. Looking at the "Aria" section, there are many examples of pathos, which is the appeal to the reader's emotions. Because he is telling his story, he, like many memoir writers, wants to enlist the reader's sympathy. He does so by showing his younger self an isolated figure. In these passages, he recalls going to school and knowing very little English, as well as being surrounded by white students. There is a tension between wanting to learn the language spoken by his peers and preserving his native language, which his parents speak at home. There's a poignancy and nostalgia to his writing, made more powerful because his style is understated and subtle. He's not deliberately playing to our emotions, at least not in a heavy-handed way, which is another rhetorical device.
Logos is the appeal to reason or intellect, and this is most evident in his discussion of what he sees as the shortcomings of bilingual education. He discusses his own experiences, as well as what he sees as the differences between Spanish and English. Keeping with this approach, his tone in this section is measured, and he is careful to avoid generalizations, as well as to give some consideration to the other side of the argument.
The third side of the rhetorical triangle is ethos, which has to do with the character of the writer or speaker. This is, perhaps, the least utilized of the three. We can assume that because he has written a book and that he is drawing on his own experiences, he is a reasonably credible source, but, without looking into his biography, we cannot know very much of his character, aside from what he tells us.