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Evaluate Fuller's argument in terms of logos, pathos, and ethos

"First is the spring of 1976 when John Hinckley impulsively [goes] out, abruptly sells his automobile and goes to California to become a rock star or a song writer. Unrealistic, absolutely unrealistic. He had not had one moment of training in music. And he believed he would come on the front of Hollywood and be an instant success. Needless to say, he was a total failure and it resulted in his depression, despair, and disappointment. He made another aborted effort, I believe in 1978, where the doctors testified he went to Nashville again with great expectations of being a rock star. Once again his hopes were dashed, because, obviously, these were unrealistic goals. Whether at that point in time they are psychotic, obviously we are not qualified to address that. You should consider that, though, in your deliberations." .

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Sarianna M. | Creative Tutor Specializing in Political Science, History, and EnglishCreative Tutor Specializing in Political...
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The above excerpt came from Vincent Fuller's closing argument during the Hinckley trial (John Hinckley was brought to trial for an attempted assassination on President Ronald Reagan), it is his address to the jury before they would deliberate on a verdict.
First, I think it is important to break out what logos, pathos, and ethos mean.
Logos refers to the internal consistency of the message. In this case the clarity of what Fuller is saying, his logic, his reasons, and the effectiveness of his supporting evidence.
Ethos refers to the trustworthiness or credibility of the speaker, in this case Fuller. Ethos is often called an argument's "ethical appeal" or an appeal to credibility.
Pathos is often associated with emotional appeal. In this case, a better equivalent is Fuller's appeal to the juries sympathies. An appeal to pathos, for Fuller, is not just to respond emotionally, but to identify/find/feel a connection to the jury--to feel what he feels, to see what he sees, etc.

So taking all of that into consideration here are some suggestions on what you can write on from Fuller's closing argument.
Logos: Think about what Fuller is trying to convey. What is his goal? He is a defense attorney, his goal is to remind the jury of Hinkely's state of mind, and provide a defense/representation to his actions (e.g. motivated by depression, failed dreams, etc). Is his logic clear? Is the evidence he uses to support his argument clear, effective?
Pathos: Is Fuller trustworthy? Think about the words he uses to describe Hinkley, how he presents Hinkely. Is he a credible source? He is a defense attorney, he went to law school, is licensed to practice in the court, has passed an ethics exam to practice (all part of becoming an attorney), does this make him credible? Do you believe what he has to say because he is trustworthy? Does Fuller as Hickley's defense attorney have more in-depth knowledge of Hinckley and his state of mind--does this make him more trustworthy and credible?
Ethos: How does Fuller convey emotion? What is he trying to emotionally pull at? How does his wording convey emotion? Is he trying to make the jury feel sorry for Hinckley and his circumstances? Is he trying to gain sympathy by talking about failed goals in order to connect jury members with their own failed goals?
Focus on some of those elements. There is a lot of power and message conveyed in Fuller's argument. Look at the wording, what does it make you feel when you read it? Evaluate those feelings, as a potential jury member might when hearing Fuller's argument.
Good luck!


i agree with your response but you messed up pathos with ethos. pathos represents emotions and word usage, how it is transmitted to the reader and how it makes them feel. Ethos is about ethics, how well supported the evidence and it's resource is, and how credible as well.