2“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards p. 9-14 -A Detailed Analysis of RhetoricStudents’ NamesB. PochAmerican Literature17 October 2008
3Author’s Life and Times: 1740’s-The Great Awakening began at a time when enthusiasm for the old Puritan religion was in decline. So, in order to offset losses in congregational populations, Christian ministers, like Jonathan Edwards, began to encourage the saving of “unregenerate” Christians to repopulate the churches.
4Author’s Life and Times (continued) Edwards practiced fire and brimstone preaching, often depicting God as a wrathful being, and wanted his audiences to know that if they step out of line, God would most surely punish them.
5What was Edwards’ Purpose? to awaken and persuade those in the congregation to accept Christ as their savior or convert them to Christianity.
6Who is his Audience?Audience - The “natural men,” Edwards’ target audience, were in all probability not well educated, possibly even illiterate. Also, they may have heard about some of the stories of the Bible but would certainly not have been as familiar with it as most of the Puritan faithful would have been.They listened to this speech in a church in Enfield, Massachusetts in 1741.
7Language Cue #1: p. 9The “worm” analogy Edwards employs near the end of this 1st paragraph emphasizes how powerless people are against God; Edwards wants his audience to know they are no better than insects in God’s eyes. This kind of language allows Edwards to initiate a state of apprehension and anxiety in his audience and will in turn aid him in achieving his purpose.This analogy taps into one’s sense of fear to persuade the “natural men” and therefore is an example of Pathos.
8Language Cue #2: p. 9The use of a rhetorical question at the end of this paragraph not only appeals to his audience’s common sense as it leads the audience to the inevitable answer (they are nothing in the eyes of God), it also appeals to their fear of a power that is far more powerful than they are.This rhetorical questions evokes fear therefore, he is using Pathos.
9Language Cue #5: p. 104th paragraph- “the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them . . .”In using the paralleled structures of ¶ 4 (noted) Edwards compels the audience to pay attention to the imagery.This parallel structure is, again, Edwards’ attempt to persuade by appealing to one’s fear to motivate them to join the church. It is an example of Pathos.
10Language Cue #7: p. 11Here and throughout the rest of the sermon, the 2nd person voice (“you” and “your”) serves Edwards as a way to point out and at the individual members of his audience. It is as if he wants them to feel as though they cannot hide. It is also the voice associated with giving direction and/or commands making his tone more threatening and/or intimidating and in turn this intensifies the anxiety of his audience as they consider the possibility that hell’s “gaping mouth” may in fact be waiting for them.This repetition of such diction such as “you” implying the 2nd person point of view, again evokes great fear and is an example of Pathos.
11Language Cue #8: p. 11When Edwards asserts that his audience’s belief that their own “prudence and best contrivance [plan]” will protect them from God’s wrath as much as a spider’s web would stop a falling rock, he gives his audience a more tangible image of God’s omnipotence.Edwards uses this analogy to evoke fear (Pathos), but because he is a minister himself, he knows that the common man believes that he is better informed of God’s power and that they must trust him and change their ways. He uses this appeal of Ethos (ethics/credibility/trustworthiness) with this analogy.
12Language Cue #10: p. 12Edwards recalls the insect imagery of ¶ 7 when he suggests that his audience is like an insect, a spider, in the hand of God which he holds over the fires of his wrath.His use of imagery and metaphor here, lead the listeners of his sermon to believe that if they do not choose to participate in this organized religion, then they will ultimately suffer in the fiery pit of hell.Fear=Pathos—yes, yes, we know, but because we have a clear “if…then…” implication here with this imagery and metaphor, he is also using Logos.
13The Rolling Stones “Sympathy for the Devil” 'They're evil, they're evil.' Oh, I'm evil, really? So that makes you start thinking about evil... What is evil? Half of it, I don't know how much people think of Mick as the devil or as just a good rock performer or what? There are black magicians who think we are acting as unknown agents of Lucifer and others who think we are Lucifer. Everybody's Lucifer.” --Keith Richards
14Please allow me to introduce myself I'm a man of wealth and taste I've been around for a long, long year Stole many a mans soul and faith And I was round when jesus christ Had his moment of doubt and pain Made damn sure that pilate Washed his hands and sealed his fate (Chorus) Pleased to meet you Hope you guess my name But what's puzzling you Is the nature of my game I stuck around st. petersburg When I saw it was a time for a change Killed the czar and his ministers Anastasia screamed in vain I rode a tank Held a generals rank When the blitzkrieg raged And the bodies stank (Chorus) I watched with glee While your kings and queens Fought for ten decades For the gods they made I shouted out, Who killed the kennedys? When after all It was you and me Let me please introduce myself I'm a man of wealth and taste And I laid traps for troubadours Who get killed before they reached bombay (Chorus x2) Just as every cop is a criminal And all the sinners saints As heads is tails Just call me lucifer Cause I'm in need of some restraint So if you meet me Have some courtesy Have some sympathy, and some taste Use all your well-learned politesse Or I'll lay your soul to waste, um yeah (Chorus) Woo, who Oh yeah, get on down Oh yeah Oh yeah! Tell me baby, what's my name Tell me honey, can ya guess my name Tell me baby, what's my name I tell you one time, you're to blame
15What may we clear up for you? Do you have Questions? Thank you for your attention. What may we clear up for you?
16Other Texts Richard Dawkins on militant atheism Oral Roberts Television Transcript “I must raise 8 million or God will call me home”