From July 8-22, 1972 the American actress Jane Fonda visited North Vietnam at the invitation of the “Vietnamese Committee of Solidarity with the American People”. During this time she recorded at least 19 propaganda interviews that were broadcast by Radio Hanoi.
The main point of this broadcast comes at the end when Jane Fonda says “I don't think that the people of Vietnam are about to compromise in any way, shape or form about the freedom and independence of their country, and I think Richard Nixon would do well to read Vietnamese history, particularly their poetry, and particularly the poetry written by Ho Chi Minh.” She supports her thesis with examples of the Vietnamese people being faced with the fear each day that they may lose their freedoms maybe even their lives and yet they go on building, farming, working and teaching others about their traditions.
Jane begins her broadcast with the ethos element of the Rhetorical triangle, “This is Jane Fonda”. She continues her broadcast by sharing, in the first person, experiences she has had over the last two weeks while visiting Democratic Republic of Vietnam, these are the two ways she establishes ethos in her broadcast. Since she was invited to the country and allowed to broadcast she must have credibility with this country. Many of the broadcasts were broadcast to servicemen and POW camps. Her popularity with the American soldiers would also increase her credibility.
Jane used many example of pathos. One of which is when she describes how “moved” she was by the Vietnamese actors who translated and performed an American play while U.S. imperialists bombed their country. Another is when she describes being in the bomb shelter of a local farmer, huddled in her arms is his daughter. They cling to each other, cheek to cheek, as U.S. bombs fall nearby. I feel their fear and her desire to protect the children. I can feel fear, anger and maybe some hatred when she uses the words “sinister” and “true killer” in describing Nixon in her quote, “…..his words echoed with sinister (words indistinct) of a true killer.”.
Even with the invading, bombing and attacking I can sense the conviction of the Vietnamese in her sentence, “One has only to go into the countryside and listen to the peasants describe the lives they led before the revolution to understand why every bomb that is dropped only strengthens their determination to resist.”. There a so many more examples of pathos in her broadcast. Pathos is certainly the strongest of the three rhetorical elements used in this article.
Jane also uses many examples of logos in her broadcast; one is when she describes Dam Xuac, where silk worms are raised. Another is when she tells of the dances she saw and the songs she heard while at the Temple of Literature. Logos is again used in this next statements, “As I left the United States two weeks ago, Nixon was again telling the American people that he was winding down the war, but in the rubble-strewn streets of Nam Dinh, ,”and.“I have learned beyond a shadow of a doubt…”.
Jane Fonda used all three of the elements of the rhetorical triangle to support her thesis. She quoted Nixon and then cited examples, that she witnessed firsthand, that supported her claim which is that Nixon will not be able to use his forcible tactics to destroy this culture. She wants Nixon and all of us to understand this culture, these people, and know that they are strong and proud and that “The blushing militia girls will continue to sing a song, praising the blue sky of Vietnam while American planes bomb their city.”