Each of these four texts uses essential rhetorical techniques in order to effectively get across each purpose, these purposes being quite different in each text. The Times article is very analytical, while the speech by Safire focuses most heavily on the emotional side of the moon landing in the hypothetical context of the text. Rand’s article paints the launch in an extremely positive and figurative light, while the Hemlock cartoon criticizes the attention that the mission receives given the many crises going on in the world at that time. The first piece, an article by the Times of London, has the purpose of stressing the importance of the moon landing as an international event, important for all of mankind. The article serves to illustrate the magnificent nature of this accomplishment, given the preparation and technical skill needed to pull off the landing, the significance of the landing for humans as a whole, as well as the affect the landing had politically on the entire world. The audiences for this paper are both the people of London that read this publication, and anyone in the international community who followed the moon landing. The exact details of the landing are put forth for those in the audience who want to know technical information and Armstrong’s description of the moon, while the detail of leader’s reactions around the world are highlighted for those who look at events in a more political way. The ethos is a given considering the established credibility of the Times, while pathos is appealed to by describing the nerves of the men in Houston on the ground, the reaction of Richard Nixon when the shuttle descends back to earth safely, and the various emotional reactions around the world. Logos is appealed to by the accurate description of the mission’s details as well as the affect of the landing on the Cold War given the somber nature of Moscow Radio’s report. This text is quite successful at describing the events of the landing, but does little to persuade the reader to think one way or the other despite the article’s largely positive report on the landing.
The purpose of the next piece, a speech written by William Safire for President Nixon, is to honor Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin in the event that they did not make it back to earth after the landing. The speech is also meant to ease the mourning process of the American people and anyone
else watching by making the astronauts into heroes. The American public is the primary audience due to the fact that this piece is a speech meant for the President of the United States, though there are people around the world who this speech would have reached. Ethos is a little more complicated with this piece, as it is written by one person and delivered by another. Ethos is mainly appealed to because the speaker is the President, but the qualifications of Safire also add to the appeal to ethos. There is not much appeal to logos in this piece due to the emotional nature of the situation, but the acknowledgement that others will learn from the mistakes made appeals to reason. Pathos is heavily appealed to as the whole speech is meant to help mourn the loss of the astronauts, which would have been an incredible emotional event for the American people. This speech is extremely effective at making the reader understand the importance of the astronauts sacrifice, making the potential mourning easier to deal with.
Ayn Rand’s article on the take-off of the Appollo 11 has the purpose of convincing her readers of the importance of the event viewed in a philosophical and logical manner. Rand’s ethos is established by her popularity as a novelist, and also her writing skill. The audience for this piece is smaller than the others, being mainly the readers of the publication the Objectivist, which would not have been nearly as widely read as the Times or other publications. Although she has a smaller audience, Rand benefits from the fact that most of her readers will understand and appreciate what she is trying to get across, which results in a more intricate and creative article then one meant for mass appeal. Pathos is appealed to when she describes the excitement of the take-off and the feeling of power it exuded. Logos is appealed to throughout her commentary on the philosophical importance of the take-off and the perspective it created when regarding mankind’s dominance of the natural world, and it hunger for more discovery. This article is extremely effective at making the reader see the launch of Apollo 11 from a philosophical perspective.
The political cartoon by Hemlock serves the purpose of criticizing the moon landing and the focus it detracts from more present issues. Ethos is appealed to by the popularity and credibility of the Washington Post, in
which this cartoon appeared. The audience would have been readers of the Post around America and the rest of the world. Logos is appealed to by the cartoon’s ability to make one think about the practicality of the moon landing in a time where people are suffering on Earth, while also appealing to pathos by drawing “War, Poverty and Prejudice” as black clouds surrounding earth, meaning to make people feel guilty for not caring as much about these problems threatening the world. This cartoon is quite effective at making readers of the newspaper rethink the importance of the moon landing given the issues on Earth.
These four texts each served different purposes meant for different audiences, but still used many of the same techniques. Each piece had appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos, while specifically keeping the opinions of the audience in mind. Despite the use of similar techniques, each piece managed to succeed in its individual purpose. This shows the possibilities for persuasion given the use of these essential rhetorical technique