In Ashraf Rushdy’s essay , Exquisite Corpse, he uses his emotions or pathos to persuade the reader and the American Justice system to change its idea that publishing the pictures of murder victims is injustice. Rushdy uses graphic descriptions of the murders and tells us how these descriptions and pictures can be and could have been used to show the justice system and the American people how wrong these murders are and to say that these people deserve to suffer. When talking about James Byrd’s murder, Rushdy explains that “in a climate where people still respond to lynching with jokes and mimicry, pictures of James Byrd’s body might have fed this evil appetite” (Rushdy np). He wants to let the reader know that these murders should not be taken so lightly but that with the publishing of pictures could have made these people look at the case more seriously. Rushdy explains just that when he says “it is possible that pictures of graphic violence still have the power to make an impression” (Rushdy np). Rushdy is very repetitive with his point and later goes on to say “it is possible that this crime, fixed in memory, could transform the nation’s moral imagination” (Rushdy np) about the statistic of how “convicted murderers who kill a white victim are more than four times as likely to be condemned to death as those who kill a black victim” (Rushdy np). What is Ashraf Rushdy’s main point of explaining why we need to use pictures in murder cases? It is because he does not want any more families to suffer loosing someone. He wants that “mental” image to stick into every ones minds how terrible of a thing that can be. His main point is that “The past teaches us that images of terror—used responsibly- can foster a climate in which terror is no longer tolerated” (Rushdy np).
I think that in Ashraf Rushdy article Exquisite Corpse he used both logos and pathos to support his claim that “the past teaches us that images of terror- used responsibly can foster a climate in which terror is no longer tolerated” (Rushdy 159). Pathos is used all throughout the article but it really struck me and got me interested in the article was the lynching of Claude Neal. “The pictures displayed the power of the white mob and the powerlessness of the black community… the photograph of Neal’s hanging body eventually became a postcard” (Rushdy 153). The thought of a poor helpless man’s body hanging on a postcard is terrifying and the fact that people thought that this kind of behavior was okay angers me even more. Another part of the article that had me feeling emotions was the murdered of James Byrd. “It was determined that Byrd’s body had been dragged from a pickup truck and that the body had been dismembered along the route: the head, neck, and right are were severed from the torso” (Rushdy 156). The picture in my mind only made the emotions I had, while reading this, stronger. Rushdy also uses logos by giving dates, providing evidence and stating facts throughout essay. “Convicted murderers who kill a white victim are more that four times as likely to be condemned to death as those who kill a black victim. Only eight whites have been executed for murdering black Americans since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977, but 123 blacks have been put to death for murdering whites” (Rushdy 159). He states facts that stirs angry inside me, Rushdy wrote a great essay with the right amount of pathos and logos to back it up.
Pathos is an incredible way for an author to reach its audience by creating imagery and by giving massive details or in-depth stories that make you feel pity or sadness just by reading the words the author used. Words are incredible, when you arrange them in a certain way they make you feel. Ashraf H. Rushdy uses gruesome stories and details to explain some of the horrors of white supremacy. Rushdy was a master of pathos and used it very uniquely to describe these events. “It was determined that Byrd’s body had been dragged from a pickup truck and that the body had been dismembered along the route: the head, neck, and right arm were severed from the torso” (Rushdy pg 156). Although his language isn’t vivid it is straight to the point and puts a knot in your stomach causing you emotional pain all from text off a page. “…elbows were ground to the bone; eight of his left ribs and nine of his right were broken; his ankles were cut to the bone by the chains that attached him to the truck” (Rushdy pg 156). Do you feel that? That is an awesome use of pathos.