Are the Monsters in Our Life Created by and for Ourselves?

12 December 2016

This because I can relate to what he is writing, but also because he is writing and presenting himself in a credible way. The first rhetorical technique Beal is using it pathos. He is trying to get to the readers emotions. The text both begins and end on the subject of September 11. Beal states, “In the immediate wake of the September 11 tragedies, however, I wondered whether the monsters might go into hiding along with irony” (1). September 11 is something that easily gets people’s attention and most people are able to relate to.

That day people made monsters out of the people behind the attack. Beal also use ethos in his text. This is to seem credible. “Last spring I taught a new course called “Religion and Horror”” (2). In this sentence he is telling the readers that he knows a lot at about the subject, actually he know so much that he thought a class on it.

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It makes the readers relate to the writer and the arguments he makes. In a text like Beal’s, when you want to argue an opinion, it is important to establish credibility. Logos is the third rhetorical technique Beal is presenting.

Beal used logos when he said “Thirteen Ghosts was a top seller during the weekend of October 26-28, grossing more that $15-million in its first three days, while the top move for the previous weekend was From Hell, which made nearly $21-million in its first days” (1). The use of logos is to present facts to back up your main point. Pathos is a rhetorical technique that is used more than once in Beal’s text. “On another level, our continued interest in monsters undoubtedly reveals out desire to find a scapegoat for our fears and anxieties” (2).

He is trying to make us think of the monsters in our life and this is where he first introduces us to the idea that we are creating the monsters ourselves. While people are in the process of thinking about the monsters in their life, Biel portrays the places where we meet our monsters. “They mark our own unknown territories, the places where our well-established sense of the order of things touches chaos, where our toes curl over the edge of the abyss. We meet monsters at those points where our boundlessly confident, ever-expanding consciousness shudders and freezes in its tracks” (2).

This is in contexts with the reader’s emotions and how they are able to relate to it. They probably didn’t think of the real life situation as monsters before. Connecting monsters to peoples experience in real life opens the eyes of the readers to a whole new way of looking at monsters. This prepares the readers for the next argument he is making. Religion is always a tough subject to write about and by bringing this in to his text Beal could touch some more serious emotions in the readers.

The rhetorical technique in his religious points is also pathos. “If everything comes from God, is God not the author of evil as well as good, chaos as well as order? Is immortality always desirable? Is redemption always possible? ” (3). To mention religion in a text like this could be dangerous, because it is a subject that everybody has an opinion on and it is easy to step on peoples feet. As you also can see in this quote he is starting to ask questions to the readers. Beal asking the reader questions is another way of using pathos.

He asks questions again towards the end of the text. “Why do the innocent suffer? What is evil, and where does it come from? ” (4). The questions make the readers elaborate on the answers themselves. This is a technique that is effective when nobody has the answers or if the writer don’t know, or doesn’t want to determine, the answer. Another technique that Beal uses throughout the text is that he mentions famous literature, movies and people that readers often know something about.

Examples of this are Dracula and Marilyn Manson, which are referred to on page three. Timothy K. Beal’s main argument is that we make our monsters ourselves. The text is not really just about monsters, but also about how we humans make monster out of the unknown. To convince the readers Beal uses the rhetorical techniques logos, pathos and ethos. Many people believe that the monsters in our world is created by literature, movies and games and that the reason for why we fear it is because we have been taught from birth that this is scary and this is not.

If we look at fairytales, where we find some of the most traditional monsters, wouldn’t the people that made them up truly be afraid to tell a story like that? We don’t only use monsters for entertainment, but also as scapegoats in our life. The monsters we see are in this way really monsters we ourselves create. There is no such thing as absolute good and absolute evil. And we cannot be sure that there is such a thing as monsters, but it seams like we need somebody, or something, to blame.

What we really fear is the unknown, and in many ways it is easier to explain it with a monster than to put a question mark all over it. In my opinion Beal has a lot of good arguments and after working closely with the text I very much agree with Beal. This is because of his excellent use of pathos, which made me relate to the text. Over the weeks I have been working with the text I caught myself making monsters out of the unknown and what I don’t like. “Works cited” Beal, Timothy K. “Our Monsters, Ourselves. ” The Chronicle Review, 48. 11 (2001): 1-4 Web. 15 Sept. 2012

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Are the Monsters in Our Life Created by and for Ourselves?. (2016, Dec 10). Retrieved December 5, 2019, from
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