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RHETORICAL ANALYSIS PAPER

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The human brain is capable for more than what one can give it credit for. There are so
many ideas to process, ponder, and take action on. In the 2010 film The Switch, the main
character Wally begins his narration, Look at us: running around, always rushed, always late - I
guess that's why they call it the Human Race (Aniston, Bell, Berger, Kahane, Hahn, Yerxa &
Gordon, Speck, 2010, 00:01:25-00:01:38). There is very little time for the amount of ideas that
an individual can contribute to the world. Time continues to tick while ideas continue to be
developed. The amount of factors that surrounds an individuals life can be intense and
sometimes these great ideas may be lost in the abyss of the human brain. In his book, Great
Work: How to Make a Difference People Love David Sturt utilizes ethos, pathos, logos through
his anecdote about Edwin Land to establish his argument about the benefits on the human race to
take a pause and ponder on their ideas.
In 1994, Edwin Land and his family were on vacation in New Mexico. On this vacation,
the Land Family visited many sights and took pictures to conserve memories. When Jennifer
Land, Edwins three-year-old daughter, asked her father why she was not able to see the pictures
of her and the sights instantly, she was not pleased with her fathers explanation on how film
worked at the time. Jennifer was adamant and continued to persist on her previous question. This
curiosity and stubbornness exhibited by his daughter prompted Edwin Land to ask himself the
same question that she successfully kept asking him: why can he not view his daughters picture
instantly? Using his knowledge as a self-taught physicists and his abilities as an inventor, Edwin
Land seized the opportunity to use this knowledge and abilities to generate the answer to their
question. The answer lead to the invention of the Polaroid Land Camera. (Sturt, 2014, p. 31-32).
Sturt utilizes the story about the events leading up the Edwin Lands idea to create the
Polaroid Land Camera to establish his ethos by relating to the audience. This ethos is evident

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because Sturt places a stubborn and curious child in this anecdote, Thank goodness Jennifer was
a strong-willed kid who was not satisfied with her dads answer. She still wanted to know. Why
cant I see my pictures right now (Sturt, 2014, p. 31). The audience can relate with dealing with
an adamant, curious child because some of the readers may be parents of curious children
themselves. However, parents are not the only type of audience Sturt targets; the story can relate
to virtually anyone who has had experience with those children who question everything and
everyone. The audience may even have those questions, stubborn personality traits themselves.
Having this relevance helps Sturt capture the attention of his audience to reveal how this
anecdote is related to his argument about the asking oneself the right questions. These right
questions can be manifested even in the most unlikely times, such as a casual family vacation in
New Mexico. Its only a matter of giving your mental notes their due respect; taking them
seriously for a change; tuning in and listening to your own opinions, doubts and observations
(Sturt, 2014, p. 33). As a father himself, Edwin Land followed the promptings of his mental
notes and created a whole new different route to the invention of the Polaroid Land Camera.
Sturts establishment of ethos may also contribute to his formation of pathos. His ethos,
evident by the relevant audience he targeted may be a significant influence to an emotional
response. By relating to the audience, Sturt grasps their personal life as a friend, family, or even
themselves and allows the anecdote to influence them to a high level. This relation allows a
deeper connection with the anecdote and the argument it supports.
The imagery of the anecdote that Sturt implements also contributes to a positive,
emotional response from the intended audience, As I walked around the charming town I
undertook the task of solving the puzzle she had set for me (Sturt, 2014, p. 31). The audience
can picture this troubled father with a determined mind to give his daughter the answer she

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deserves. This imagery evokes the emotion of sympathy, especially from the audience that may
have had an experience of when they have wanted to give a child an answer that would not leave
the child or themselves unsatisfied.
Pathos helps Sturt form his argument that if one stops for a moment and asks themselves
the correct question, creative and beneficial ideas will arise. The emotional triggers that Sturt
places in the anecdote about Edwin Land increases the audiences approval of his argument in a
positive way. The approval would derive from the sympathy that was evoked through the
combination of imagery and ethos from the story.
Logos is a critical rhetorical device that Sturt utilizes in making his argument about the
potential unlocked when one ponders on their thoughts and ideas. In the surrounding context that
lead to Edwin Land anecdote, Sturt is arguing that if one ponders about their ideas and if they ask
themselves the right question about the idea, then the idea would become a significant reality
(Sturt, 2014, p. 33). Edwin Land took his knowledge of physics and his role as an inventor to ask
himself the right question. He had to ask himself how he could use his knowledge and abilities to
create something that would allow him to have instant photography.
The ethos and the logos found in the anecdote connected and strengthened Sturts point.
The audience is able to see a clearer understanding of the logical progression that Sturt is trying
to argue because they can relate to it. By showing his audience an example of logical progression
of his argument in a famous example, Sturt may also establish additional ethos, credibility, to his
name because his argument follows in the pattern of a famous invention that lead to so many
other great ideas.
Overall, David Sturt uses his anecdote of how grand invention like the Polaroid Land
Camera became a reality because the inventor, Edwin Land, acted upon the idea that arose from

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the right question. As one stumbles upon what seems to be random ideas and asks themselves the
right question, sometimes the world may slow down for just one moment. It is that moment in
which one can ponder on how they can use their knowledge and abilities to achieve on what they
want and believe in. The 2010 film The Switch concludes with the main character Wally
narrating, Every once in a while, in all the randomnesssomething unexpected happens and it
pushes us all forward and the truth iswhat I'm starting to think, what I'm starting to feel is that
may be the human race isn't a Race at all (Aniston, Bell, Berger, Kahane, Hahn, Yerxa &
Gordon, Speck, 2010, 01:36:06-01:36:31). It is the compelling anecdote of Edwin Land that
establishes Sturts ethos, pathos and logos in Great Work: How to Make a Difference People
Love.

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Reference Page

Speck, W., & Gordon, J. (Directors), Aniston, J., Kahane, N., Hahn, K., Berger, A., Yerxa, R., &
Bell, B. (Producers), & Loeb, A. (Screenwriter). (2010). The Switch [Motion picture on
Netflix]. United States: Miramax Films.
Sturt, D. (2014). Great Work: How to Make a Difference People Love. New York: McGraw-Hill
Education