Letter To Albert Einstein Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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In 1936, Phyllis Wright, a sixth-grader that hoped to understand what scientist prayed about, sent a letter to Albert Einstein, who responded to her inquiry with a well-thought-out letter. Within the reply, Einstein used appeals to logos, ethos, and pathos; clever manipulation of the relationship between subject, speaker, and audience; and a well-articulated purpose, all of which made Einstein’s reply rhetorically effective.
Perhaps the most important observation that can be made about rhetoric in Einstein’s response is the clear imbalance of the rhetorical triangle, which describes the relationship between subject, audience, and speaker. The subject addressed within Einstein’s letter was prayer and how scientists use it, and this subject clearly
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The ethos of Einstein’s letter comes from the positive reputation he created among the scientific community by establishing the theory of relativity and winning the Nobel Peace Prize in Physics in 1921. These accomplishments allow Einstein to have a positive ethos, which makes his writing appear trustworthy to many people. Additionally, Einstein’s writing style contributes to his ethos, something that can be observed in the line, “However, it must be admitted that our actual knowledge of these laws is only imperfect and fragmentary, so that, actually, the belief in the existence of basic all-embracing laws in Nature also rests on a sort of faith” (Einstein 10). Within this sentence, Einstein demonstrates a scholarly understanding of both the English language and his subject, a factor that plays an important role in his reputation when one considers that Einstein would likely not be given so much respect if he often wrote poorly or spread false information. He uses pathos by writing to Wright in an incredibly polite manner, which is apparent in his send-off of, “I hope this answers your question. Best wishes” (Einstein 10). The use of such encouraging and polite language appeals greatly to one’s emotions because polite behavior is often seen as a positive trait. Finally, Einstein utilizes logos within his letter by presenting proven facts that support his statements and by communicating his ideas in a very
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