In Jeanne Allen’s opinionated article “Why We Celebrate Columbus Day”, originally published in the Student News Daily on October 10, 2019, Washington Examiner Allen, disputes the disregarding outlook and unimportance shown to the Columbus Day holiday. The article is introduced by Allen stating that “City councils in some cities have voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day” shortly after Allen enlightens readers on the disadvantages that decision could arise.
The writer indicates that the youth would be terribly misled on the importance of Columbus Day and why Christopher Columbus’s memory is honored. Allen’s opinion on this matter is evident, she believes that Columbus was a man who greatly impacted the lives of those he encountered, she even referred to his attempts as “exemplary”. Jeanne continued to defend his honor by mentioning that his commands were mistaken for abuse, it is said in the article that he only wished to civilize and discipline those who portrayed savage like behavior. Towards the end of the article, the writer quotes presidential declarations from former United States Presidents, regarding Columbus Day. Allen incorporates the quotes “a brilliant navigator” said by former President Ronald Reagan, and “one journey that changed the trajectory of the world” said by former President Barack Obama. To conclude the article Allen emphasizes her notion on the holiday by saying “ This man who practically defines our understanding of the spirit of discover is himself worth discovering, and worth teaching, with both truth and objectivity”.
This article is predominantly directed towards a young audience with very little understanding of Christopher Columbus and what he stood for. The writer’s syntax and lack of complex sentences allow readers to understand the thesis clearly and interpret Allen’s claims. An obvious bias towards Christopher Columbus is reflected in the article, Allen vaguely discusses opposing views and only writes about Columbus’s positive contributions, disregarding any negative claims made towards Columbus Day. The writer’s intentions seem to be those of an author whose aim is to influence readers into siding with them. Allen’s purpose for writing this article is not only to inform readers on what she believes to be misconceptions regarding Columbus, but to persuade readers into opposing the replacement of the holiday. Allen utilizes Pathos, Logos, and Ethos in order to build a stronger article and help validate her claims. Pathos is conveyed in Allen’s third paragraph when she says “whose approach to the native people he met during his first voyage was exemplary, taking delight in their friendliness and happy demeanor. ” This quote conveys a feeling of fondness and admiration toward Christopher Columbus, causing readers to question their views on Columbus.
The writer’s use of Logos is seen in the fourth paragraph when she says “Deeply-felt religious beliefs and aspirations appear again and again in Columbus’s diaries and other journals and documents” the writer used reliable facts which helped vindicate her opinions on Christopher Columbus. Allen’s use of Ethos was detected throughout the article, the most engaging utilization of Ethos is seen in sixth paragraph in the first sentences when Allen quotes Presidential speeches regarding Christopher Columbus, “President Ronald Reagan declared him: “a brilliant navigator, a fearless man of action, and on Columbus Day in 2016, President Barack Obama said, “More than five centuries ago, one journey changed the trajectory of our world”. These direct quotes used in the article bolster Allen’s credibility and aide her purpose.
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