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jakia ([personal profile] jakia) wrote in [community profile] openingyourselfuptojoy2012-09-21 10:29 am

Logos, Ethos, and Pathos: The New Direction’s Three New Leaders

I keep seeing references to leadership and ND so I wrote a thingy about who the leaders of ND really are this season. It’s part meta, part speculation, and part analysis. Thinky thoughts are encouraged. Let’s have a conversation about this!

Logos, Ethos, and Pathos: The New Direction’s Three New Leaders

In previous seasons, the New Directions were led by Artie Finn and Rachel, supposedly. But now they seem to have no official leader, no voted-upon Captain. I’d argue that instead, they’ve just broken it down into three parts. When you are giving a speech, you’re told to use three different arguments: the logos (logic), ethos (character), and pathos (emotions). Each new leader of New Directions represents one of these ideals.

 Logos: Artie

Logos: Greek for “word”. Logical method of persuasion using reasoning. See also: logistics, the-one-behind-the-scenes, the director

If you’ve been paying attention since season one, you’ll notice that Artie has actually been our leader this entire time. Not Finn, not Rachel, but Artie calls the shots more often than any other student. Artie is the brains behind the operations: he picks out songs, he picks the soloists, he decides what the New Directions are going to do for Christmas. In The New Rachel, when the New Directions face sudden popularity and are pressured into bullying, each and every member looks to Artie for guidance on what to do. They all know who actually runs the show here.

So why, then, is Artie not the de facto leader of the club? Why is he not calling absolutely all the shots?

For the same reason in season one when Mr. Schue had Artie in his Glee club but sill felt like he needed a male lead in Finn? Because Artie lacks the front-man appeal. The wheelchair bound, glasses wearing nerd does not “look” the part of the charismatic leader, even though we the audience know he can rock it no matter what.

Artie’s other weakness, and the reason we need a third leader to make this Holy Trinity work, is his emotional reliability to other characters. While Artie is obviously not without compassion, and certainly we’ve seen him be friends with others, he can also be insensitive and hurtful, which aren’t the best qualities for a leader to have.

Which is why he needs Blaine and Sam to back him up, if the New Directions are going to continue to function.

Ethos: Blaine


Ethos: Greek for “character”. Refers to the credibility and trustworthiness of the speaker. We tend to believe in people we respect. See also: the front man, the charmer, the public face


The first time we see Blaine, he’s front and center, singing his heart out for the Warblers. We later learn he’s not the Warbler’s leader. In fact, he’s a sophomore in a room full of upperclassmen, but yet he’s the leader singer. But no one seems to begrudge him this position—in fact, how could they? He’s just so gosh-darn nice and charming that you can’t help but like the guy.

Blaine’s leadership position comes solely from his charm and respectability. He’s a Nice Guy. We like him! And everyone who watches him likes him too!

He’s the New Rachel because he earned it: he’s smart, he’s charming, he’s a talented singer, a natural-born performer, and when he talks, people listen. But more than any of that: he’s willing to be the face of the New Directions, like Rachel was before him. Artie, I think, realized that, and that’s the real reason Blaine won over the girls. Artie may be the one making the decisions, but Blaine’s the one who is willing to face the repercussions of the decisions. Which is why when Mr. Schue starts yelling at them during the Brittney episode, he’s the only one who speaks up to defend them. When the school realizes they’re lip-syncing, he’s the one who pulls the curtain. And it’s why last episode, he’s the one who formally welcomed Marley to the group and pulled her into the spotlight.

He’s the New Direction’s PR guy while Artie’s the brains of the operations. It’s not the easiest of jobs, but someone’s got to do it.

But, if Blaine’s the front man, why not have Blaine do it all? Why can’t Blaine be the New Direction’s universal leader?

Because the things that make Blaine such a good front-man are the things that make him a bad behind-the-scenes guy. Blainelacks—I don’t want to say “backbone” because Blaine does have one of those, but he’s not—I don’t know. He’s too respectful of adults and authority figures, much as he may want to slap the shit out of them, to actually do the sneaky behind-their-backs rage stuff that Artie does.

And while he might be able to fill our pathos leadership need, I bet that goes to Sam simply because Blaine, despite being on the show for the same length of time as Sam, hasn’t made friends like Sam has. He has friends, true, but a lot of them still see him as an Extension of Kurt, or Blaine Warbler. He just doesn’t have the bond with them yet that others do, and a lot of that simply has to do with the fact that he just wasn’t there. Not his fault, but what can you do?

Pathos: Sam


Pathos: Greek for “Suffering” or “experience. Reliability. The method of persuasion used by appealing to people’s emotions. See also: the companion, the one-who-has-been-in-your-shoes, the friend


You’ll see about that pathos’s original meaning is about suffering, and few characters have suffered like Sam Evans except you Kurt Hummel get out of here. He transfers to a new school where he knows no one. He gets bullied. His girlfriend cheats on him. His family loses their home. He makes a lot of really awesome friends and gets an amazing girlfriend, and his family moves out of state. He becomes a stripper.

But that’s also what makes Sam our perfect pathos leader: he’s suffered, which means he can relate to other people’s suffering. And that’s what makes Sam a leader.

He doesn’t have Artie’s brains or Blaine’s charm, but he has compassion in spades. It’s something that we’ve always seen from Sam (he has compassion and sympathy for Quinn, he doesn’t care Kurt’s gay—he’s going to sing with him anyway, he helps out at the homeless shelter for Christmas, makes an effort to befriend Rory when few others seem to) but it seems to be coming out of him full-force in season four. Already, we’ve seen him comforting Marley and being the only one who “gets” why Brittany is behaving the way she is, and why? Because he relates to them. He’s been there. He’s been poor and bullied like Marley, which is why he can pull her back to Glee Club. He thinks differently is blonde like Brittany, which is why he’s the only one to realize what exactly it is that she’s doing.

He’s the heart that keeps Glee together. Artie may make plans and direct people, but if he insults them and doesn’t understand their pain, they aren’t going to put up with him no matter how good his ideas might be. And Blaine might be the PR guy they desperately need, but they don’t really know him and don’t seem to want to.

But Sam? Sam hugs them. Sam gets them. Sam’s their buddy, their friend. When chaos erupts right before a competition, Sam is going to pull a Noah Puckerman and be the one to pull everyone together and remind them that they love each other, because only Sam will be able to do it.

So All Together

Artie is the Brain, Blaine is the Body, and Sam is the Heart of the New Directions.

Together, they’re going to lead the team to Nationals like a well-oiled machine that’s going to make Finn and Rachel look like children looking after puppies. And it’s going to be awesome.





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