Aftermath of Audience Underestimation: Critique of J. White’s Argument example

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Aftermath of Audience Underestimation: Critique of J. White’s Argument

The world is changing, and some alterations provoke the intrinsic interest of the society. The advocates of changes and their adversaries try to persuade people that very their point of view is right, which is a just cause because that is how the legit democracy works. However, when one tries to convince but think instead of the target audience, there is a great chance that such strategy will founder. “Why the Gasoline Engine Isn't Going Away Any Time Soon?” article by J. White (2008) is a failure because the author miscarries the application of rhetorical devices, which depreciates the persuasiveness of the article.

J. White appeals to the audience using such pathos devices as irony and burlesque to diminish the importance of electric-powered automobiles and highlight the role of traditional ones, but one may found the resulting word choice offensive. For instance, he addresses potential adherents of gasoline-alternative transport as “empty-nest baby boomers bored with the suburbs” (White, 2008, para. 3) which may be offensive for the people to whom he refers. At the same time, White claims that the suburb and country dwellers supposed to be the first partisans of the combustion engine auto as it gives them desired mobility and functionality (2008, para. 3). The appeal to the audience’s experience at the beginning of the paragraph followed by affront of the very same people at the end is a questionable strategy. The offense is likely to alloy the emotional attitude of the reader towards the article. Eventually, all following jokes and witty words will persuade but distract the audience as they will be perceived as mockery and disrespect. Thus, the impropriety of pathetic rhetoric of White’s article makes the argument doubtful from the early beginning.

The overall inconsistency of the underlying rationale influences the validity of author’s claims. In “Integral to Modern Life” section (White, 2008, para. 3), he argues that petroleum-powered cars cannot be substituted in some cultures and areas. However, within the same paragraph, White discusses the cultural changes that affected the lifestyle of Americans, which allows concluding that indispensability of traditional automobiles may be a temporary trend too. The author also claims that high oil prices stimulate manufacturers of combustion engines to invest in the improvement and optimization of the technology (White, 2008, para. 4). Later in the article, he states that development of the electrical engines is likely to increase the cost of the eco-friendly cars (White, 2008, para. 5). As White assumes that development of the technology enhances the value of the petroleum-alternative products, that should also be true for traditional cars. However, the author states quite the opposite. The point is that the reader can evaluate the reasoning by him or herself, and make own conclusions. If the deductions of the author and the audience vary, one of the parties should be wrong. As far as White have already failed to conduct the proper pathos rhetoric, the audience is likely to disbelieve his rationale …

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