Rhetorical analysis of Mary Ewalds letter to President Saddam Hussein - Essay Example

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The letter written by Mrs. Mary Ewald to ask for the release of her twenty four year-old son Thomas Ewald was a very powerful letter that effectively used the tools of rhetoric to appeal for the release for her son. …
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Rhetorical analysis of Mary Ewalds letter to President Saddam Hussein
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Download file to see previous pages Mary’s approached Saddam in her letter as a mother, scholar and poet who is a friend to the Arabs. If one will notice, there were no blaming or questioning made why Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait or any venting of any anger why Thomas was abducted. But rather made the appeal on an emotional level to avoid antagonizing Saddam that would hinder the release of Thomas Ewald. The approach as a mother and a friend of the Arabs makes a good case to pursue an emotional appeal or pathos to convince the Iraqi President to release Thomas Ewald. And to make her persuasion more effective, Mary first established her credential or ethos as somebody who is well verse and a friend to the Arab by mentioning that her “family has been a staunch friend to the Arabs. [Her] husband, Tom's father, was on the White House Staff when President Eisenhower caused the French, British, and Israelis to pull out of Suez. President of the Radcliffe (Harvard) Club of Washington, arranged to explain Muslim culture. [She was] also a poet who has written about Arabia”. This use of ethos was written with an understanding of Arab culture, particularly of Arab generosity to recognize the power of Saddam over his son and to exercise that power to right the wrong. This portion of the letter was also short of saying that Saddam’s army abducted a friend of the Arabs and therefore should be released.
After establishing ethos or credibility with Saddam as a friend of the Arabs who knows their generosity, she then proceeded with her emotional appeal whose use became more effective. The pathos or emotional appeal littered the letter and was very obvious in the mention that Thomas Ewald is a well-loved son who worked in Arab country to bring peace within the two cultures. She also invoked mercy that her son Thomas is asthmatic, so severely crippled as a child that they thought they could never raise him. Using this approach, it would be very difficult to refuse her because everybody regardless of their cultural background or station in life everyone received love and care from their mother and refusing her is like refusing one’s mother which is very difficult to do. This letter was just heart wrenching for its audience to read which in this case was the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein because she introduced herself as a friend and that her son, supposed to be friend too among Arabs who value family relations so much, was wrongly abducted during the invasion. She then begged for his generosity and in the name of Allah to release her son. It would be very hard to refuse a mother who does not coerce what he has done nor asked for anything except for the release of her son especially when she recognize and beseeched in the name of Allah. She was also appealing based on the universal sense of humanity as a mother to a father when she stressed that she is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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