Cheyenne Pruett Ms. Mitchell College Composition October 8, 2013 Ophelia? Thomas G. Plummer, in his essay “Diagnosing and Treating the Ophelia Syndrome” argues that the system we use for teaching today takes away students ability to think for themselves. Plummer proves his argument with loads of examples of students conforming to others to take the easy way out. In Plummers essay he points out ways to treat this syndrome and stop all ignorant people from ruining the minds of other students.
Plummer’s purpose is to point out the issue that society is molding into uneducated individuals. Plummer writes in a formal tone for his target audience. Plummer appeals to pathos when he adds the quote about people not knowing how to “answer” simple questions such as “How are you? How do you feel? ” because we are too busy “Feeling what we are supposed to feel”. He also strikes an emotional cord when he introduces the Treatments. The treatments in and of themselves are appealing to pathos because they all stimulate some kind of emotional response.
Treatment 2 is all about trusting yourself. Later on in the discussing the treatments Plummer talks about how every throught he has are his thoughts. He says to “follow your intuition”. Just be you. Treatment three also has a lot of pathos. It is all about being okay with not knowing. He puts it into deep words when he says “surrender the need for absolute truth”. Plummer also uses formal diction to get his point across and to also help achieve the objective to make his argument stronger.
In using words such as “pontificates” and “clamors”, he is making it clear who his target audience is. Even Just adding the treatments can be considered formal diction. The treatments are his way of showing/ telling the audience that something can be done to reverse the effects of Ophelia Syndrome. Other formal words such as “morality’ and “counterargument” can be found throughout the essay. The word choice in the essay helps provide us with a clear example of who should be reading the essay.
In using formal diction he is establish his credibility. Plummer also establishes credibility/ appeals to ethos when he talks about psychologist Carl Jung on the first page of his essay. Adding other insight can help the audience show that the author, Plummer in this case, did his research and knows about the topic he is writing about. Another appeal to ethos Plummer makes is on sixth page under treatment 4, when he adds “Psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg defines morality as the ability to see as issue from points of view ther than Just your own. Plummer later on goes on to explain a personal experience with treatment 6 which is step out of bounds, when he explains he “dutifully carried prepared tests” to his class. There was a student Holly who practiced Plumbers treatment when he walked through the door and she looked him because it is a personal experience. Plummer had a number of things he used to get his point across. He used all of his appeals and great diction as well as others to make sure his target audience was right on with him. He kept the essay flowing and easy.