Rhetoric Analysis Of Jimmy Carter’s Speech On Arctic National Wildlife Refuge


Jimmy Carter uses pathos, logos, and ethos to persuade his audience to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from industrial development.  

One tool Jimmy Carter uses to persuade his audience is pathos. By appealing to his audience using emotions, he can persuade his audience to preserve the land. Jimmy Carter writes, “instead of tearing open the heart of our greatest refuge, we should use our resources more wisely.” This is important because Americans can easily conserve more fuel by driving environmentally friendly vehicles than, what would be created by the Arctic Refuge. This makes the refuge useless as a potential fuel source. Another example of pathos in his essay is when Carter states, “standing on the coastal plain, I was saddened to think of the tragedy that might occur if this great wilderness was consumed by a web of roads and pipelines, drilling rigs and industrial facilities.” Allowing the wilderness to be consumed by roads, pipelines, and drilling rigs would not only ruin the beauty of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge but also risk the lives of thousands of animals. These examples of pathos show why Carter believes the land should be preserved. 

Another tool Jimmy Carter uses in his essay to persuade his audience is logos. Using facts and logical information Carter helps the audience realize factual and logical reasons to preserve the land. Carter explains, “this law specifically created the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, doubled the size of the former range, and restricted development in areas that are clearly incompatible with oil exploration.” This is important because a law was previously made to help preserve the refuge, this means that people of high authority believe it is important to keep oil explorers away from the sacred land. Another example of logos in the essay is when Carter states, “In 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the original 8.9-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Range to preserve its unique wildlife, wilderness, and recreational values.” This is important because in 1960 a President thought it was important to preserve the land. If the land was that important to protect then, it is still equally as important to protect now. These examples of logos show logical and factual reasons Carter believes the land should be kept safe.  

Carter also uses ethos in the essay to persuade his audience. By showing the audience what the right thing to do is, he helps convince them that saving the refuge will be the right thing to do. Carter writes, “to leave this extraordinary land alone would be the greatest gift we could pass on to future generations.” This is important because not preserving the land will have a negative effect on future generations and animals. Another example of ethos in Carter’s essay is when Carter states, “such proposed developments would forever destroy the wilderness character of America’s only Arctic Refuge and disturb countless numbers of animals that depend on this northernmost terrestrial ecosystem.” This is important because if the land is invaded many animals will be displaced. Allowing the industry to invade the land will be detrimental to the ecosystem. Carter uses these examples of ethos and others to get the audience to care about this land and convince them to save it. 


 

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