Assignment 2

Andy Yao

Professor Ding

ENG 2150

April 2024

The pandemic played a huge part in many people’s lives, but more importantly in students as they are the nation’s future. A major impact that the lockdown and isolation had was on mental health. Mental health is a group of things such as our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Since mental health issues can vary from person to person, it can be difficult for people to understand them and the effects they have on a person. The article, “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Students’ Mental Health” by Krista M. Soria, an Assistant Professor of Leadership and Counseling at the University of Idaho, details all the problems that arose from the pandemic and gives recommendations for policies to benefit students’ well-being. Another article, “Mental Health Conditions Among E-Learning Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic” by Anna Rutkowska who is a Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy. The article studies the effects that switching to online learning had on students. In both articles, there are elements of ethos, the use of credibility, logos, which is the use of logic and facts, and pathos, the use of emotional appeal.

In comparison, both articles are studies done to determine the effects of COVID and the lockdown on students. They employ the use of ethos throughout their articles. For example, in Krista’s article, “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Students’ Mental Health” she states, “By March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic…” This quotation shows her use of ethos as she refers to the World Health Organization, which is a known credible source that is used by multiple different articles. Her credentials as an assistant Professor in counseling are another example of ethos because they show that she has knowledge of mental health and has enough expertise to teach in that field. It may give her a deeper understanding of what students are experiencing because she knows what students are going through. In Anna’s article, “Mental Health Conditions Among E-Learning Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic” it states, “The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Physical Education…” This shows that the research was peer-reviewed by committee members and allowed to be conducted. There are several references used in the article that confirm all the facts she used in the study. By using information that is from credible sources to support their claims, it helps the author gain the reader’s trust in what they are saying.

The author’s use of logos is the use of logical explanation and facts to persuade the audience or reader to take on their side. As Krista’s article states, “Given that increased time spent on screens is associated with poorer psychological impacts on students during the pandemic (Browning et al., 2021), faculty should consider reducing the length of time they require students to spend on video platforms…” In this quote, she provides a logical explanation because she understands that there is a correlation between screen time and psychological impacts. Thus, reducing screen time may help reduce the negative effects that it has. In the article, Anna states, “According to the authors’ analysis in reviews of literature, the prevalence of stress and depression in the general population as a result of the pandemic is 29 % and 33 % respectively.” In this instance, she is using statistics to enforce her claim that mental health issues have arisen due to the pandemic. Using statistics helps sway the audience’s opinions because when they see numerical evidence they are more inclined to accept it.

Similarly, both articles utilize pathos by appealing to the emotions of the readers, however they do it in different ways. The article by Krista brings a sense of empathy and concern by highlighting the challenges faced by students during the pandemic, such as increased loneliness, stress, and depressive symptoms resulting from extended periods of remote learning and social isolation from other people. By sharing personal stories and experiences of students grappling with mental health issues, the article seeks to draw compassion and understanding from the audience. This is shown when Krista states, “Students experienced sudden disruptions to educational structures, the loss of loved ones due to COVID-19, and isolation associated with social distancing.” This quote highlights the challenging changes that students face, including the emotional impact of losing loved ones and the loneliness of social distancing. In contrast, the article by Anna uses pathos by emphasizing the alarming statistics and consequences of the mental health crisis among university students. It wants to bring feelings of sympathy and urgency by presenting data on the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, which shows the emotional toll the pandemic had on young people. This is shown when she states, “Students’ mental health should be carefully monitored even after the pandemic is over, as the psychological consequences can linger much longer and affect many areas of life.” This statement appeals to pathos by highlighting the lasting impact of the pandemic on students’ mental health. Both articles leverage pathos effectively to engage readers emotionally and show the importance of addressing mental health challenges in the context of education.


Rashomon Assignment

1. Give a brief outline of the plot (action) of the film. (<50 words)

There are four characters, the bandit, a woman, the samurai, and the woodcutter. They are on trial to recount a murder that occurred. They all give their different versions of the same event and they must find who is guilty.

2. What are the main symbols in the film, what do they represent? (<50 words)

Some symbols that were in the film are the gate which represents the crumbling society of Japan and the sun which can reveal the truth or blind you from it.

3. How is the structure of the film important to the telling of this story? (<50 words)

The film shows each of the characters’ contrasting stories and their mistrust of each other which creates tension and forces the audience to question the guilt and innocence of the characters. Also, it makes the characters more complex when you see how they are all related and connected in some way.

4. What are the main philosophical idea raised by this film is called ‘The Rashomon effect’, which refers to the phenomenon where different individuals provide contradictory interpretations of the same event or phenomenon. The phrase has since been widely used in various fields, including psychology, sociology, journalism, and philosophy, to describe situations where subjective perceptions and biases lead to divergent accounts of the same event. This effect highlights the complex nature of truth and the unreliability of eyewitness testimony. In 250 – 300 words, please answer one of the following prompts:

In what ways does social media exacerbate the Rashomon effect by allowing for the rapid spread of conflicting narratives and perspectives on current events? Give examples.

Social media has significantly exacerbated the Rashomon effect by increasing the spread of conflicting narratives and perspectives on events. Social media platforms allow people with different viewpoints to share their interpretations of events, even if they are not proven to be correct. This information can lead to an increase in contradictory statements, contributing to confusion among people. An example of social media exacerbating the Rashomon effect is the spread of misinformation during major events. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, during the high of the pandemic, there were various conspiracy theories, and misinformation about the origin of the virus that gained a lot of attention on social media platforms, leading to distrust and panic. Another example would be from the news channels. Social media platforms often become the main source of information for many people. However, the large amount of information on social media can lead to the spread of conflicting narratives and interpretations. Most news outlets can have conflicting claims and information can vary depending on which one you are getting your news from. As more information becomes available, conflicting accounts may emerge from eyewitnesses, and authorities each offering their own perspective. This can result in contradictory narratives spreading around on social media, making it challenging for users to find the truth in all the chaos and false claims. The Rashomon effect is thus magnified as individuals grapple with conflicting accounts and struggle to make sense of the unfolding events.


Baldwin and Buckley Debate

At the beginning of Baldwin’s speech, he says there are many different answers to the question and that it can vary based on where you come from or your perspective on reality. Then he talks about the exploitation of blacks in America and how America was built at the expense of labor from them. In Buckley’s speech, he responds by saying that the color of one’s skin has nothing to do with Baldwin’s argument. He uses lots of examples to counter-argue many of Baldwin’s points.

Baldwin Examples –

Ethos: “It seems to me when I watch Americans in Europe that what they don’t know about Europeans is what they don’t know about me.” This is an example of ethos because he went to Europe and saw what the Americans were doing.

Logos: “From a very literal point of view, the harbors and the ports and the railroads of the country – the economy, especially in the South- could not conceivably be what they are if it had not been for cheap labor.” In this example, he uses facts that have historical backing.

Pathos: “It comes as a great shock to discover that the country which is your birthplace and to which you owe your life and identity has not, in its whole system of reality, evolved any place for you.” This example shows his use of emotion to display the tragedy that blacks come to realize.

Buckley Examples:

Ethos: “I urge those of you who have an actual interest in the problem to read “Beyond the Melting Pot”. This is an example of pathos because he sources a book that is relevant to the debate subject which shows he has knowledge on said subject.

Logos: “…Catholics were not allowed to vote in England as late as 1829 and Jews not until 1832…” This is an example of logos because of his use of a historical moment.

Pathos: “I know from your faces that you share with me a feeling of compassion and a feeling of outrage that this kind of thing should have happened.” Here Buckley uses emotion to try and connect with the audience.