Rhetorical Analysis

Rhetorical Analysis



Rhetorical Analysis

Open House by John T. Edge is a short story that covers the life experiences from a freshman’s perspective. Apart from that, it also outlines the historical events surrounding the Open House, a famous tavern in Athens. The purpose of the essay is to analyze the overall effectiveness of the message delivered by John T. Edge in the story “Open House”. The initial paragraph will concentrate on the application of ethos appeal in the story, the second paragraph focusing on the use of emotional appeal while the last paragraph will outline the application of logos. This analysis is expected to outline the different styles used by the narrator to attract the attention, emotions and reasoning of the reader.

Ethos is an appeal that focuses on the ethics of the message as well as that of the author. In Open House, John Edge starts the initial paragraph with an account of his subscription into a fraternity and the subsequent trip to the local club, Blanche’s Open House. Evidently, the narrator is not keen on maintaining a high level of morality. On his first day in college, he “…shotgunned a six-pack of Country Club malt liquor, and gulped down a pint of Pepe Lopez tequila”. The narrator was equally liberal with mentioning the expletives uttered from the club’s host, Blanche. The narrator’s interview with Herbert Guest and Blanche is an equally emotional moment. In the course of the interview, Blanche drifts off and starts to relive her younger years while working at the Open House where she “…always bought fresh eggs, and installed bars on the men’s bathroom window”. Towards the end of the essay, the narrator and the respondent connect at an emotional level and the reader is allowed to see this when Blanche gives the author a souvenir.

Pathos appeal is used to draw out the reader’s emotions. This is achieved by describing a specific scene or event in a vivid manner that can evoke a wide range of different reactions from the audience. In the short story, the narrator recalls the phenomenon of “third places”, sites where men developed strong bonds over a neutral ground. In the process of explaining the experience of understanding the concept, the narrator takes the reader on an imaginative journey filled with sumptuous cuisine, and historical precedents. It is difficult for the reader to avoid feeling envious and proud of a person eating “…smoke-charred ribs at Aleck’s Barbecue Heaven in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King Jr. and his lieutenants plotted marches and sit-ins, kneel-ins and wade-ins”.

The last form of appeal, the logos appeal seeks to the reasonable side of the readers. It works by convincing the audience by way of logic. Throughout the story, the narrator is careful to combine current events with historical ones in a clever manner. However, he clearly uses the logos appeal in outlining the activities of different law enforcement in their quest to stamp out racially discriminative groups. In this way, the narrator manages to increase the value of indulging in a drink at the Blanche Open House. Readers are left with idea that since the establishment was at the heart of several key historical events, it was definitely an interesting place. This is an excellent use of logos. Another use of logos appeal is in the inclusion of synonyms for complex vocabulary. The narrator uses difficult terminology such as disingenuous, repudiated and ascetic then proceeds to include short descriptions or definitions. This allows eh reader to make private comprehensions of the phrase and its context. In conclusion, the essay Open House contains several different styles and appeals. The balanced use of ethos, logos and pathos ensured that the story was emotive, and appropriately structured.

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