Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Rhetorical Situation

Bitzer presents a very interesting argument. He states that the rhetorical situation is often undervalued and supports it through examples such as Kennedy’s Inaugural Address and the fishermen expedition. He capitalizes on one thing that really caught me and that is the importance of a presence of a rhetorical situation in order for discourse to be successful. He supports this main claim, I feel, through the exemplification of ethos, pathos, and logos(exigence, audience, constraint). For exigence, he states that “exigence is not rhetorical…without the assistance of discourse”. Bitzer used an example that really helped me understand what he meant; and that example was with the mentioning of the pollution subject. For audience, he uses a very good claim about how ‘scientific and poetic’ discourse does not reach out to a designated audience. He also added before that that a rhetorical audience “only consists of those who are capable of being influenced by discourse and of being mediators of change.” Lastly, for constraints, Bitzer says that there are factors that hold the audience back from making a decision of change; which is highly true.

I really felt that Bitzer made a great point in this text, “The Rhetorical Situation”. It made me ponder upon discourse, as a whole, and that without the input of a situation, the can result in no change whatsoever. On page 4, Bitzer writes, “In short, rhetoric is a mode of altering reality, not by the direct application of energy to objects, but by the creation of discourse which changes reality through the mediation of thought and action.” After reading this, Bitzer made a great claim that rhetoric does not effect an audience or “object” physically and directly, but through thought and process, results in an action in conclusion. Bitzer brought up a great point when he talked about all of the political and international events that had occurred in one week(page 10), and stated that President Johnson should have and even must have reacted according to the ‘situation’ instead of talking about his childhood in Texas or about other affairs; but accordingly. That really hit me as well.

The exigence for the Emma Watson piece would be the subject of feminism awareness and Watson’s impact and perspective on feminism. Rather than the idea and proposition that Watson had mentioned, I felt that the purpose the piece of more focused on Watson’s perspective and the entire generality of her speaking at the UN. The audience I felt is the general public and the purpose of speaking to this audience is to show the idea of Watson speaking at such an important position, the UN and the impact that she had actually made there. Lastly, the constraints would include the belief of so many men and women of the world that women are unequal or not on par with men and this belief would ‘influence one’s decision for change” (as it was said in Bitzer’s “The Rhetorical Situation”)

P.S. Great speech, ELOQUENCE

Ideas for rhetorical analysis project

I looked at the ideas that Lisa posted on the project assignment document and went for the topic of minimum wage. I got one article from and another source from the LA Times. The point of views on these two pieces are literally opposites. One article stating that raising minimum wage hurts rather than helps, and the other posing why the minimum wage should be increased. It was hard for me to nail down another topic that really interested me and hard to find topics that had contrasting views or positions on the topic.

Ferguson Article Comparison (Nick, Caroline, Sang)

The shooting of an unarmed man, Brown, stirred up a multitude of controversy; not only in St. Louis, but all throughout the nation. In the Fox News article, it elaborates on the different sides taken by different regions around the country on what happened with Michael Brown. While in the Democracy Now article, it only talks about the aftermath and the efforts to the control emotional eruptions in the area. We feel that the text was intended to figures in education, teachers and students. We feel that the secondary or unintended audience was toward society in general and pretty much throughout the nation. In relation to the appeals of Aristotle, we would most heavily relate it to the pathos part of the ‘triangle’. Primarily in the Fox News article, they speak mostly to the audience, educating those that read the article to be conscious of the situation that occurred and be more socially aware. However, in the Democracy Now article, we saw it point more toward the credibility or the ethos. For example, in the text, it is stated, “One of the BearCat armored trucks used during protests there was paid for with $360,000 in Homeland Security grants.” In both articles, they touched upon the aspect of race in relations to the conflict. Overall, the Fox News article was based around educating us, demonstrating different perspectives around the nation and the reactions to the situation that have occurred. On the other hand, the Democracy Now article, how the government has responded to the event proceeding the killing of Michael Brown.

What is rhetoric? In class writing response

I feel that this paragraph states a  very reasonable perspective of being a persuasive writer. The speaker has to consider the audience while stile trying to convey the message of the subject. So yes, I would agree and say that the three go around and can never be isolated from the other. If done successfully and effectively, the purpose may pierce the reader.