Logos, ethos, and pathos

Table of contents


Logos represents an appeal to reason, where the speaker uses logical arguments, facts, statistical evidence, etc. to support her case.

Adichie appeals to the logic of the audience by giving examples of African people who have brought innovation and development in their fields. She talks about contemporary Nigerian music and “talented people singing in English and Pidgin, and Igbo and Yoruba and Ijo, mixing influences from Jay-Z to Fela to Bob Marley to their grandfathers”. By presenting this example, Adichie shows the diversity of Nigeria, highlighting all the different languages spoken in the country, and the creativity of its people who combine contemporary art with cultural heritage.

Similarly, Adichie talks about “the female lawyer who recently went to court in Nigeria to challenge a ridiculous law that required women to get their husband’s consent before renewing their passports”. This example suggests social and legal reform in Nigeria and that Nigeria is a country where the feminist movement is present and where women actively work towards gaining equal rights.

Adichie also uses logos when she tells personal stories and then draws conclusions from them: “What this demonstrates, I think, is how impressionable and vulnerable we are in th...

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