Graves book about happiness and anxiety in America”. Whippman

Graves and
Whippman present their arguments of how happiness is derived using different
persuasive techniques and structure. Graves has presented a more persuasive
case using all three modes of persuasion, which are engaging the audience
emotionally and provide sufficient evidence to back up her point.


Compared to
Whippman, Graves appeals more to the audience on an emotional level with the
use of several persuasive techniques. Graves asked a couple of rhetorical
questions such as ” You’re ecstatic, right?” and “But will all this
make you happier?”. Thought-provoking questions capture the interest of the
audience (Furtick) and allow readers to reflect. As the reader responds
accordingly to those rhetorical questions, he subconsciously agrees to Graves’
point of view as well. (Huggard, Keaney, & Breuer, 2006) Graves also uses
colloquial style to approach the readers in a friendlier manner. He uses words
like “(sigh)”, “Yes, it sounds downright un-American”. The reader will feel as
if the author is directly engaging the reader in a conversation and will be
able to relate to the author on a deeper level. It is evident that Graves is
using pathos to reach out to the readers emotionally, allowing the author to
bring out her argument through psychological connectivity. In contrast,
Whippman uses formal language to convey his argument. Whippman uses words like
“truism”, “natural byproduct” which makes her sound very
knowledgeable. However, since the topic is on happiness, simple and concise
sentences will bring a greater impact. Hence, Graves did a better job of
engaging the audience.

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contrast, Whippman excels better in appealing to credibility. In her article,
she provides two sides of the issue on happiness. She expresses her view that
some soul-searching and reflection are necessary for a healthy psychological
lifestyle. At the same time, she proves her argument that the “individualist
culture” is reducing communications among people, which is also an essential
part of happiness. Her counterargument increases her credibility as her writing
shows unbiased. She further proves her credibility by using anecdote and her
experience of “Having spent the last few years researching and writing a book
about happiness and anxiety in America”. Whippman uses ethos to persuade her
reader that she is fair and has expertise in that field. Throughout the
article, Whippman tries to build her reputation to make herself worth listening
to.  In Graves’ article, she only explains how
happiness is obtained from within from the start to the end of the article.
There was little sign of experience in that field as well. However, she seems
to have done her research well on the topic as she is able to provide some
scientific terms such as meditation “gray matter concentration in the parts of
the brain”. This helps to increase her trustworthiness and proves to her
readers that she knows what she is talking about. Therefore, Whippman excels
better in ethos than Graves.