The intention of “Under the Influence” by Scott Sanders is to talk about the life he had with an alcoholic father and how this influenced his life. He writes about the “corrosive mixture of helplessness, responsibility, and shame”, which Scott had to carry around with him as a son of an alcoholic.The pathos of this piece brings the reader into proximity with the writer that is hard to capture in writing. The reader understands and can even feel the pain that Scott Sanders carried with him throughout his life in having an alcoholic father. It evokes emotions and sympathy from the reader that can’t be shaken till the closing sentence.The ethos can bring a trust from the reader because of Scott Sander’s situation and the very real deep emotional scar that Scott is left with.
The reader is invested in the emotions and stories that are told and cannot help but trust and have faith in the writer and the personal story.