In the article “Every Dish Has a Story: Mapping My Food History” Von Diaz explains through her life stories and experiences that everyone’s food has a unique and special history. She uses the rhetorical elements of invented ethos, pathos, logos, and values to get her powerful points together.
With life experiences and personal stories, Diaz helps build and establish her invented ethos as well as to show her qualifications as a speaker on the topic of everyone’s unique food history. Her way of developing her credibility also ties into her way of bringing in emotion into the article. With some affecting stories, Diaz correlates her experiences with emotion. These emotions help bring the appeal to pathos. Diaz also uses logic in her article when explaining why people’s food has a different or unique history from others.
The logic used can also blend in with ethos in the article. Finally, Diaz uses values to get her point across. Throughout the article Diaz shows what her passions are and allows the readers to understand more about her. With so many personal examples and logical arguments, Diaz effectively builds her article with the rhetorical elements of invented ethos, pathos, and logos to prove her point that every dish has a story and that people should strive to know more about their food and its history.
In her article, Von Diaz uses the effective element of invented ethos by using her personal experiences and stories. Diaz realizes that she must establish her credibility and there for must prove that she is capable and relevant enough to discuss her chosen topic. She does this by explaining where she is from, the amount of time she cooked, and the research she has done. Diaz talked about being an immigrant child from Puerto Rico in Atlanta, Georgia (Diaz).
This information alone gives Diaz the credibility she needs to prove that she knows about different cultures and what they eat. Diaz emphasizes on the fact that she is from a culture that has different traditions and food than in America. This proves her experience in different cultures and their food. Second, Diaz gives many examples of her cooking throughout her life. As a little girl, to escape loneliness she began cooking and eating with her grandmother (Diaz). This experience in the kitchen helps Diaz with her ethos because personal experiences on a certain topic helps build credibility.
These examples show the reader that Diaz is knowledgeable with food and the preparation process. Finally, Diaz’s inventive ethos is completely formed due to the research she did on Puerto Rican and Spanish history. Diaz explains how Puerto Rico became a Spanish colony over 500 years ago and that ever since then African and Spanish traditions and flavor can be seen and tasted in the current Puerto Rican food (Diaz).
Diaz sets aside multiple areas within her article where she talks about the history of her culture’s food. With personal and life examples, as well as research done on the designated topic, Diaz develops her invited ethos to the readers and proves to be a very knowledgeable and credible source. Personally, I see the credibility in Diaz’s invented ethos because of the multiple examples she gives to build up her reliability and relevance.
Diaz also ties in ethos and pathos together in her article because of some of the personal examples she talked about. She said she felt like an “outsider” and that she was lonely as an immigrant (Diaz). This brings emotion into the article that may make the reader have a reaction of sympathy towards the young Diaz. With this example given and this type of ethos, pathos can easily be distinguished in the article. Since pathos is all about emotion, pathos is found in another example regarding Diaz’s grandmother. Later in the article Diaz also mentions her grandmother dying and how that inspired her to write a cookbook based on the knowledge and love she received from her grandmother (Diaz).
This emotion may hit home for many readers who have suffered from the loss of a loved one, which makes this emotion very effective in the article. Emotion is used multiple times in Diaz’s article which makes her appeal to pathos strong and effective as well as great credibility to her knowledge due to the experiences. Overall, Diaz creatively put together the elements of ethos and pathos to form both credibly and emotion.
Diaz also uses logic and reasoning as a rhetorical appeal in her article. She does this by giving examples of how the food and culture from her family was completely different from those around while she was growing up in Atlanta, Georgia. It is completely logical to assume that her statement of “Every Dish Has A Story” holds true with any country compared to a different one. For example, the food culture in France will most certainly be different from the food culture in Mexico. Or food in India will be very different from the food experienced in Jamaica.
This is just known logic because it is completely reasonable to assume that countries have different types of food and how they prepare it. This is logical because other countries grow different types of plants and raise different types of livestock. Different parts of the world also have contrasting climates which produces different foods. The simple but easy to understand and follow logic that Diaz puts into her article makes perfect sense and helps the readers comprehend the points Diaz wants to make in her article.
With all the rhetoric appeals Diaz has made it is clear to tell what she values and holds dear. From mofongo, to understanding her cultures history, to family time, to cooking, Diaz builds up her values throughout the article. The first value Diaz introduces is her love for the Puerto Rican dish mofongo. Mofongo is a dish made from fried and then smashed green plantains. These bananas are then seasoned with garlic, olive oil, and sometimes pork skin. Diaz talks about her fondness for the traditional Puerto Rican delicacy and expresses her value for it when she calls it both creative and cleaver (Diaz).
Diaz also shows that she values family time. She talked about how she dealt with her loneliness by eating and coking with her grandmother. Even when her grandmother got older and her memory was fading, Diaz said, “she still loved to eat, and I cooked for her every chance I got” (Diaz). Diaz also shows that she values her cultures history. She talked about how a cultures food has a history and how each history has a special and unique story. Whether the story ranges from migration to family growth and change, Diaz tells her readers about her cultures history and how it has changed over the years.
She also encourages her audience to discover their foods stories and history and to share their information with friends and family (Diaz). Diaz shows her audience that she values family connections as well as certain dishes from her culture and its history. This proves to be an effective style because it shows the reader that Diaz is not just writing for the sake of writing, she is putting thoughts and memories as well as research into an article where she discusses a topic that really means a lot to her.
Overall, Diaz ties together multiple rhetoric appeals in her article to establish her credibility, to express emotions, to use logic, and to show what she values in her life. These appeals were carefully and effectively developed throughout the article and helps the reader understand the view from which Diaz stands. The invented ethos can clearly be discovered due to all the personal examples and experiences. The history research also plays a role in the development of the ethos. The emotion used in many of the examples help the readers understand the pathos involved in the article as well as some of the emotional features used in Diaz’s article.
The simple to understand logic that Diaz uses helps to build up her logos throughout the article because it allows the readers to comprehend the main points but also realize how simple and logical the points are. And finally, the values shown in the article help the readers to get a better look of who the author is and what her priorities are and what she values the most. The article was effective due to the appeals used and really emphasized on the point that people should know the history and stories behind the food they eat and their culture.
- Diaz, Von. “Every Dish Has a Story: Mapping My Food History.” WordPress, June 30,
- 2015, vondiaz.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/every-dish-has-a-story-mapping-my-
- food-history-tedxpiscataquariver/, accessed 30 October 2018.