Judging from comments and suggestions floating around in our little composition cyberspace, there seems to be a particular aversion from the pathos method in writing.
Not that this isn’t without good reason. Of all the methods, pathos is the most frequently misused, and also the hardest to implement without turning a piece of writing into emotional manipulation. It seems that the class sees past this method, but seeing the comments made me wonder if there was to be something found in pathos writing that is often overlooked.
In my article, pathos was used by putting the reader in the shoes of an uncomfortable agents, but I do not feel that this hurt the writing. In fact, I feel it gave the writing a good punch and made for a more engaging read. However, it must be noted that my interests are more literature inclined than a majority of the class. While I may think a colorful metaphor or simile will add meat to an article I am trying to make for a particular audience, seeing the class comments revealed that they would have preferred articles that were more sweet, simple, and to the point.
Not everyone likes wasting time on a flowery description to get to the meat of an article. Some may even think it nulls the value of the entire piece of writing. That is not to say that pathos as a form of writing should be completely avoided. The pathos method can add personality and zest to a piece of writing and save it from becoming a dry article to put an audience to sleep, but from what I’ve learned from the class’ opinions on the matter, don’t use pathos unless you know the in’s and out’s.
While pathos is the easiest to implement, it also also the easiest to turn an audience off of a piece of writing. Proceed with caution before going pathos.