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“The Parable of the Sadhu” is a story about the trip of McCoy and a group of other international individuals hiking through Nepal, and the ethical dilemma they encountered that made McCoy think about individual and corporate responsibility. After the sadhu, who was suffering from exhaustion and hypothermia, was dumped at the feet of the travelers, they all decided to proceed with their journey to the mountain summit, leaving the stranger behind with food and clothes in the middle of nowhere, despite the fact that he was sick. Evidently, nobody was willing to accept full responsibility for the stranger, but each of them did their best as long as it did not inconvenience them. Apparently, an individual’s efforts, however well-intentioned they are, cannot succeed without the support of the group. This essay analyses the persuasive strategies McCoy uses to put his point across effectively, including the purpose and audience of his message and the topic of the article. The strategies include appeals to the audience via rhetorical elements such as ethos, pathos, logos, as well as the literary devices used in the article.

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The main topic in “The Parable of the Sadhu” is the breakdown between individual ethics and corporate responsibility (104), and the need for corporations to develop cultures that support individual values and the success of the whole group (108).

The main purpose of the article is to persuade the readers to uphold their individual moral ethics by always doing the right things irrespective of whoever is in need of their help. By means of narration, the author presents to the reader a story of a sick sadhu who requires care and attention, yet the travelers just help him partially and continue their journey leaving him lying in the sun far away from the closest village. The fact that the writer presents a common story that the reader can relate to his personal experience, makes the story more intimate and interesting to read. Another purpose of the article is to challenge organizations to adopt a culture of openness and support for individual needs and values for the benefit and success of the whole group as put forward in this statement: “It is the management's challenge to be sensitive to individual needs, to shape them, to direct and focus them for the benefit of the group as a whole” (109).

The main audience of the article is corporations, including their executives and employees. This is evident in McCoy’s statement when he said, “How the group responded I think holds a lesson for all organizations no matter how defined” (102). The author challenges corporations to develop a value system that supports the needs and values of their individual employees and acts as a guide when faced with ethical dilemmas such as the one presented in the story.

McCoy manages to make the reader believe in the content of his article via his ethical appeal (ethos). The author’s vast experience in corporate leadership and management, which he gained as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, lecturer of ethics and finance at Stanford, UCLA among other universities, as well as being the previous chairman of Stanford's Center for Economic Policy, makes him very credible and worth the reader’s respect because of the background information concerning the topic he has. Throughout the story, the writer presents McCoy as a compassionate person, who feels sorry for not helping the sadhu. As a result, this makes McCoy a likable character to the reader.

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The author manages to appeal to the reader’s emotions through narrating the story in a personal way, coupled with a series of questions that invoke the reader’s imagination, sympathies and concern. For instance, when describing the sadhu he said, “. . . the almost naked, barefoot body of an Indian holy man - a Sadhu. . . the pilgrim lying on the ice, shivering and suffering from hypothermia” (103). From the description one cannot help but feel sorry for the half-naked and barefoot sick man lying on the ice.

The author effectively conveys his message to the reader via his clear and consistent claims and the way he supports them with logical reasoning. For example, when he asked why Stephen with his strong morals did not choose to provide personal care to the sadhu, he replied that it was partially because Stephen was physically exhausted and lacked the support of the other group members, making the task fall behind his individual capability (108). McCoy’s reasoning makes sense to the reader, making his message believable.

The sadhu has been used in the article to symbolize everybody who is in need of help. In our everyday life, we encounter several sadhus who require our assistance. McCoy asked, “Should we stop what we are doing and comfort them; or should we keep trudging up toward the high pass? (109).

The name Stephen has been repeated countless times throughout the article - an indication that he is the main character in the story, the one with the strongest moral vision among all the characters.

The article “The Parable of the Sadhu” is a story of McCoy’s 60-day journey to the Himalayan Mountains with his colleagues and the ethical dilemma they faced in the course of their trip. The main issue discussed in this article is the author’s persuasive strategies which include appeals to the audience, such as ethos, pathos, logos, as well as literary devices i.e. symbolism, repetition, etc. The author challenges organizations to develop value systems that support individual values and provide direction to their employees for the benefit of the whole company.

Code: writers15

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