Logos, ethos, and pathos

Stephen King’s essay “Why We Crave Horror Movies” is written using a combination of logos, ethos, and pathos. However, logos and pathos are most noticeable in the essay, with fewer examples of etho…

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Table of contents

Logos and ethos

Logos and ethos are connected throughout the article.

Logos is present throughout the article, as King attempts a psychological analysis of the human desire to witness violence. Note, however, that he does not quote studies or scientific opinions on this subject – he only explains his own opinion on the matter.

For example, at the start of his essay, King states that all people are mentally ill. To support this idea, he references real fears and strange behaviors that many people have. Moreover, King thinks that people watch horror movies “To show that we can, that we are not afraid, that we can ride this rollercoaster". This explanation is logical because horror movies aim to frighten their audience.

However, King thinks there is …

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Pathos

In his essay, King uses pathos to amuse his readers but also to create in them a feeling of fear and excitement.

Pathos is created when King reminds his readers of the feeling of excitement and fear they get when they ride a rollercoaster: “the way we may scream when the roller coaster twists through a complete 360 or plows through a lake at the bottom of the drop.” 

To inspire a sense of fear in his readers, King reminds them that real murderers like Jack the Ripper and th…

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