The rhetoric of community and the establishment of ethos as exhibited in selected interviews and public appearances of Leslie Marmon Silko
Love, Sonia Dawn
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From the classical age to our modern world rhetoricians have recognized the importance of constructing a positive ethos. Leslie Marmon Silko has certainly shown in her development as a writer that she understands the importance of this rhetorical appeal. This study acknowledges the public persona that Silko builds in order to take advantage of the opportunities that result from a well-developed ethos. Through the exploration of her interviews and appearances this study presents the development of Leslie Marmon Silko's ethos as well as its role in leading readers to a better understanding of her works. The introductory chapter outlines the overall research conducted in the dissertation and the significance of the study of the development of Silko's ethos as it leads readers to identify with her Laguna culture and the role it plays in her growth as a writer. In order to establish a greater understanding of the concept of ethos and its importance in Silko's life, the second chapter centers around a definition of ethos as it was understood in classical Greece as well as a discussion of how the appeal is defined today by the academic community. Then, in the third chapter Silko's ethnicity is explored as is the rhetoric of community that was such a powerful part of that ethnicity and that played such a key role in the development of her ethos. Also, further expanding the reach of her ethos, Silko participated in numerous public meetings and conferences in colleges and universities as well as in civic affairs such as charity events. This expansion is covered in the fourth chapter thus exhibiting Silko's connectivity to her community even further and leading to an even better understanding of the development of her ethos. Concluding the study the fifth chapter summarizes the development of Silko's positive ethos which reinforces the Aristotelian idea that the speaker or writer's credibility is enhanced by the strength of character that the writer or speaker displays and emphasizes the many possibilities that still exist for research into the continued development of Silko's ethos as she remains active in writing and publishing.