Forms of appeal

The dominant forms of appeal in “No Death Penalty, No Easter Bunny” by Colin Cohen are ethos and logos, although there are elements of pathos as well.

As the essay is a satirical one, the writer uses these forms of appeal in two ways. He uses them to support his pretended argumentation in favor of the death penalty, but he also uses them to support his real view (which is against the death pena…

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Logos

Colin Cohen appeals to readers’ reason when he uses logical arguments, facts, or statistical evidence, to argue ironically in favor of the death penalty.

For example, he gives an apparently logical explanation for why death penalty originated with God: “We really didn't need the death penalty, as God took care of it Himself, such as when he passed the sentence of death on both the citizens of Sodom and Gomorra and the first-born sons of Egypt.” (p. 68, ll. 11-14)

This is also an appeal to God’s authority (ethos). However, you should remember that this is a satirical argument; it is not truly logical to suggest that the fact that in the Bible God punished people means that the death penalty is just…

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Ethos

Colin Cohen appeals to trust or authority to support the claim that the death penalty is acceptable, even morally justified. He does this through numerous references to religion and God, all presented in such a way that suggests killing offenders is God’s will. He particularly does this through referring to Biblical stories and quoting directly from the Bible: “…passed His power to destroy life onto His creations, as expressed in Exodus 21:23-25: ‘But if there is any furt…

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Pathos

Cohen rarely appeals to readers’ emotions in the text. However, there are a few instances where he alludes to empathy and compassion or negative emotions such as: “While federal law and many state laws allow for the murder of villains, bleeding-heart judges and juries only apply it in cases where there is sufficient media scrutiny.” (p. 70, ll. 37-39); “…the gas the Nazis used so effectively – but doing so may also set off some touchy emotions…” (p. 71, ll.9-10)

The writer pretends to mo…

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