Pretty Little Liars is a hit television show that came out in 2010 and is based on the popular novel series written by Sara Shepard. Pretty Little Liars is just as it sounds, a show based around a series of secrets and lies that tear people apart and bring them together. Four teenage girls fall prey to all of these secrets and lies because their friend, Alison DiLaurentis, was murdered, and the citizens of Rosewood still don’t know who committed this act. The girls are strung along with clues and traps leading them closer and closer to what happened to Ali that fatal night by text messages, emotional, physical, and verbal harassment by someone that goes by “A.” There is so much gossip going on throughout this entire show that ethos, pathos, and logos are all represented multiple times throughout the four girls’ different lives and the haunting of this troublemaker, A. In one recent episode, “Dead to Me,” the girls have found a notebook that is written in Ali’s handwriting and are trying to find who the notes in that notebook were between. Ali was talking to one of her friends (that wasn’t one of the four girls), about telling the news to someone called “beach hottie.” The girls spend hours on end wondering whether or not to turn it in to the cops as they try to figure out whom Ali was talking about and what news was urgent to tell beach hottie. They think this might’ve led to Ali’s murder. The girls continue snooping around and talking to people about the notebook, and end up finding out that Ali was afraid she was pregnant by beach hottie before she was murdered. All of this snooping and the fact that Emily turned in the notebook to the police department caused multiple fights between the girls.
Mona, is a huge drama queen in Pretty Little Liars. She is Hannah’s old friend who causes a lot of problems and who is definitely on the A team. Mona likes to tell the girls things that install fear in them demonstrating Pathos. In this episode, Mona instills fear in the audience by threatening Spencer saying she is falling behind. Spencer has just broken up with her boyfriend, Toby, because she found out he is on the A team as well. They’ve been dating for over a year and Spencer caught Toby in action as A. She is broken hearted and hasn’t told the girls yet because she just hasn’t entirely come to terms with the fact that Toby is part of A and has been trying to kill them for over a year now while having sex with her and pretending to love her at the same time he was plotting against them. Mona threatens Spencer and says she really hasn’t been on top of her “A game lately.” This is a form of pathos because it instills a sense of fear in the audience and in Spencer. The audience also knows that Mona is definitely one hundred percent part of the A team and Spencer and the rest of the girls are still unsure of whether or not Mona is for sure plotting with the A team against them. At the same time in this episode, one of the girls, Aria, has a boyfriend of over a year now named Ezra who is an older man. Aria had previously found out that Ezra had a child that his mother paid off his ex to never tell Ezra about. Spencer, who just recently broke up with her boyfriend was set up by A through a text message and talked to Ezra about his son when Aria still had not yet told him his son existed. This ultimately ended up in a big confrontation and almost breakup between Aria and Ezra, and Ezra left town to find his son.
Previously in the season, one of the girls, Emily stabbed a guy that killed her girlfriend and within this episode it shows her struggling with the fact that she is a killer. This happens so much that she actually in a way ends up convincing herself and imaging that she is the one that killed Alison. She is going crazy because of all of the gossip, lies, rumors, and creepy things coming from the A team, whoever they are. She goes through hypnotherapy and sees herself killing Ali with a shovel, which was the murder weapon. The therapist that Emily is going to is one that the girls have been going to for awhile. She is threatened by Mona also because Mona creepily shows up to the therapy office to give her flowers and tell her congratulations for re-opening her practice. She had previously closed it down because all of the drama from what was happening because of Ali’s murder started to scare her and she in a way became a victim herself. Mona doesn’t get to stay at the doctor’s office because Dr. Sullivan is really short with her, primarily because she is scared. Mona leaves saying that she could never really repay her for all that she did. This leaves a creepy tone and instills fear in both the therapist and the audience. This example is a form of pathos. It was proven earlier in the season also that Aria’s dad was blackmailed by Alison soon before she died and saw her the night that she was killed. This causes a lot of concern and suspecting from the girls framing Byron, Aria’s dad for the murder. Aria doesn’t know whether or not to believe it and ultimately confronts her dad. This causes a huge issue between her family and all of it is because of the gossip of people talking about what happened to Ali that night and the clues leading up to why she was murdered and who did it. Aria felt torn between whether or not to
believe her friends’ gossip or her dad’s defense of the gossip. In this scene, we want to believe Aria and the girls because they are the victims of A and all of the issues arising with that but at the same time, it is hard because we don’t want to see Aria’s family torn apart. We can however relate more to Aria and the girls because they are the main characters and we know them the best. This is called ethos because we know the main character so well, it makes us want to side with them. We know that Aria, the speaker, has done her research and tried her best to find her father innocent so it makes us easier to believe her rather than Byron who is just now being presented with the information. Logos is seen throughout this episode of Pretty Little Liars through all the clues that A leaves behind for the girls to find and piece together. Logos can specifically be found in the notebook because it is a symbol representing the fact that this show is centered entirely around gossip. Emily also finds a postcard that belonged to Ali with a threat on the back of is from A. A takes things that happened between Ali and the girls and uses their secrets against them today. A knows things that only Ali knew which tears apart the girls in a lot of the episodes but also brings them together as well sometimes because what they do all have in common is the protection of their deep dark secrets with Alison.
Summary: I still have a lot of work to do. I need to better understand ethos, pathos, and logos, and be able to better depict their functions throughout the episodes of Pretty Little Liars. They do appear in many of these scenes but so far my first draft is lacking a lot of organization and clarification on when these three things tie in to the scenes centered around gossip. Pretty Little Liars was a good show to do that I chose because a lot of suspenseful things take place all that are centered around rumors and gossip of what really happened to Alison DiLaurentis. Often times in the show the audience will know things that the characters do not and piecing all of that together to reach the end result is something that keeps the audience interested and gives the show reviews from week to week.
Published on Apr 15, 2013