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Published by Eddie Yi

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Published by: Eddie Yi on Nov 30, 2010
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Yi 1Eddie YiDr. Erin Dietel-McLaughlinFYC13100September 30, 2010Rhetorical Analysis“Web 2.0” by Andrew Keen attacks the new and “improved” revolution of the Internet.Keen utilizes an informal dialect, pathos, ethos and irony as his main tools to persuade hisaudience into believing that the new generation of the web is detrimental to society. LawrenceLessig, who has a contrasting viewpoint, presents “In Defense of Piracy” employing formaldialogue, logos, ethos, and mainly pathos to convince his audience that amateur creativity is theessence of American Democracy. While both Keen and Lessig effectively use logos, pathos andethos as well as styles, tones and moods, Lessig’s portrayal of technology as a constantlychanging and evolving substance is more persuasive than Keen’s depiction of the detrimentaleffects of becoming engulfed by technology.The bold headline of “Web 2.0” emphatically reveals Andrew Keen’s stance on the newInternet generation. His intent is clear as he presents his case to his readers: the “common” people. His audience is, according to his definition, of the proletarian class, which is evidentthrough the examples of ill will towards “elitists.” His informal dialogue and usage of personalwords like “we” and “my” are generally used to take this article to a personal level. This allowsKeen to relate himself with the same people who are reading his article.A key connotation utilized to define the new web is the repetition of the word“seductive.” This word is constantly exploited to nurture a negative recognition and feel for theweb movement within the audience. Thereby, Keen effectively employs pathos in this situation,
Yi 2as most citizens would not relate the word “seductive” as being a good thing. This exemplifiesKeen’s use of language and his ability to “bond with readers,” and makes the audience feel as if Keen is one of them.On the contrary, Lawrence Lessig conjures a formal argument in “In Defense of Piracy.”His argument is directed towards an audience composed of the older generation as he persuadesin a more organized and professional level. The lack of personal pronouns and use of denotativelanguage in the article appeals toward an older and higher-minded generation. The constant useof denotative language—liability, counter-notice, and blanket license—confirms that Lessig’sviewers are well-educated and the very elitists Keen detests. Lessig uses formal writing toconvince his audience comprised of intellectuals and lawmakers, and to point out the absurditiesof the copyright law.Andrew Keen demonstrates a unique way of using ethos, logos, and pathos in referenceto his audience. Keen clearly scorns the new web movement, yet, his knowledge and credibilityis remarkable: he himself is an Internet veteran having been an “elitist” at Silicon Valley, theheadquarters of the web movement. He uses his ethos and reputation to garner support. Lessig’sethos is apparent from his specific use of law terms and states that he is a professor of law atStanford Law School.Keen also utilizes a subjective tone. By doing this he appeals to pathos by comparing theweb movement to Marxism. The idea of communism disgusts our minds, and by doing so, makesthe new web movement seem as contagious and destructive as communism. Additionally, in theintroductory example of Stephanie Lenz, Lessig suggests Lenz’s character to be that of anexemplary citizen of the United States. Considering her to be no danger to society, Lessig portrays her as an innocent victim of a tyrant known as Universal Music Group. Already Lessig
Yi 3 persuades his audience using pathos to believe that the music industry is composed of greedy persecutors trying to victimize society. The fact that the music was barely audible logicallyargues that Universal went too far and is discouraging personal creativity.Lessig’s most persuasive argument lies when he utilizes pathos to convince parents thatthe music industry is labeling their kids to be “terrorists”. The use of words like “terrorists”,“criminals”, and “stealing” in association to kids disgruntles parents. This appeal to pathoseffectively stirs parents’ emotions into rejecting the music industry after deeming their kids to beconvicts of the law.Finally, Lessig employs logos by ridiculing Web 2.0, stating that creativity with freedomis an oxymoron. He also uses sarcasm by quoting words like “empower” and “democratizes” assimple ignorance from people who actually believe these attributes actually characterize the Web2.0’s “creativity.” Lessig defends this creativity as being one that defines a person andencourages this imagination in a well-structured argument using ethos, logos, and pathos to justify his cause.The style and tone of Keen’s argument is based on false hope and irony. The use of humor allows the article to take on a lighter atmosphere, which plays into the irony of thecommentary. The analysis that Web 2.0 is like Socrates’ nightmare presents an exaggeration andhumorous tone. However, the greatest factor in Keen’s persuasive critique of Web 2.0 is the useof irony where he meets with his friend, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who explains the problems with the new and “improved” web.Lessig, on the other hand, uses a serious and direct style and tone. Rather than movingaround the subject in favor of lighter tones, he favors the availability of empirical evidence and

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