Effective Use Of Pathos And Connotative Language

949 words - 4 pages

Effective Use of Pathos and Connotative Language


The Hawaiian culture is known throughout the western world for their extravagant luaus, beautiful islands, and a language that comes nowhere near being pronounceable to anyone but a Hawaiian. Whenever someone wants to “get away” their first thought is to sit on the beach in Hawai’i with a Mai tai in their hand and watch the sun go down. Haunani-Kay Trask is a native Hawaiian educated on the mainland because it was believed to provide a better education. She questioned the stories of her heritage she heard as a child when she began learning of her ancestors in books at school. Confused by which story was correct, she returned to ...view middle of the document...

She gets close to the audiences’ hearts to gain sympathies from them. She introduces Hawaiian words such as “‘Ohana” (family), a personal subject to most people, to make them feel more comfortable in the setting of the essay. If one feels they are apart of something, they are more likely to take up with you and fight for what you believe in. She entices them closer with each new window she opens into her language, “Aloha kakou” and “Kupuna.” (Trask, 176)

In explaining the actual decline of her Hawaiian empire she uses heartrending words to overcome the audience and make them sympathetic towards her people, “Obviously it was best for Westerners, not for our dying multitudes.” (Trask, 177) Trask states in response to the way she writes about how westerners have told the history of Hawai’i. Throughout her essay she uses many statements like this, making the Hawaiians the victim and the westerners eradicators. “What better way to take our culture than to remake our image? A rich historical past became small and ignorant in the hands of the Westerners.” (Trask, 176) By the time this appears in her essay, Trask feels comfortable enough with her audience to use sarcasm to support her point. She is making fun of the white man for their way of thinking they could better the Hawaiian culture, like a forger trying to re-create a Rembrandt. Using words like “rich historical past,” causes the reader to feel that they themselves have actually lost something in the ordeal.

Throughout the essay an aggravated tone is lingering. Trask is clear about the fact that she is angered at the way the westerners have butchered her heritage. She mocks the way they think about her culture, “I know the historians...

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