Bitzer argues that what makes a situation rhetorical is similar to that which constitutes a moral action as he writes that, “an act is moral because it is an act performed in a situation of a certain kind; similarly, a work is rhetorical because it is a response to a situation of a certain kind”.(3) By defining the rhetorical situation in this way, Bitzer further contends that rhetoric is a means to altering reality.
Pezzullo is especially interested in "everyday practitioners of rhetoric," as she calls them. ("Rhetors," she says, drawing on the ancient vocabulary, "are not all trained in rhetoric.") Tourism, for instance, is "a way we communicate all the time," she says. "People tour a maternity ward or workplace, or give a tour of the town where they live or grew up to say, this is where I went to school, this is the house I grew up in. I'm interested in how the rhetoric of tourism branches out into everyday routines, influences our creativity to make our lives more meaningful."
Cut back to Cancer Alley, where Pezzullo engages in just this sort of rhetorical analysis on her toxic tour. The stops on the tour, the tour guide's "performance," a speech by a local resident, sights and smells, conversations on the bus, even the bus itself are vehicles of rhetoric. Take the naming of Cancer Alley. The name, Pezzullo has written, "is a powerful rhetorical tactic for environmental justice activists" that has reframed the debate "by foregrounding the deadly health effects produced by what industrial officials would otherwise describe innocuously as an industrial corridor."
To understand the analytical moves made in an essay is to learn that "language and other types of representation work on you in various ways," Farris says. "You want to be savvy about how they work, whether it is an argument by a sociologist, an ad, or a documentary." In short, language shapes us and changes us. As Farris puts it in an essay on rhetoric, "everything is rhetorical, constructed by language, affected by how it is described and whose interests are being served."
[tags: Rhetorical Analysis Advertisements Ads Essays]
Today, Pezzullo's interdisciplinary communication and culture department includes anthropologists as well as film and media studies faculty. "Now," she observes, "we have started to think about how people are being moved. If they are being moved by tourism, then that is a domain of rhetoric. If you are interested in improving democracy, you have to account not just for logical debate (‘I'm more right') but also for what is moving to people. This allows rhetoric to do what it was initially supposed to do, which is create a more robust engagement with democracy and public culture."
[tags: Persuasion Rhetorical Analysis Essays]
By 1971, the political formula for ending the war had been established. U.S. troops would be withdrawn in stages, in deference to public demand, while the administration would do what it could to help South Vietnam survive without U.S. troops. President Nixon refused to acknowledge the likelihood that continued troop withdrawal would lead to the demise of South Vietnam, whether by treaty or by war. He used every rhetorical sleight-of-hand to present the American exit as “honorable.” The antiwar movement’s political agenda at this point was to ensure that the administration did not backslide and to push up the timetable for withdrawal, which the House of Representatives refused to do.
[tags: persuasion, ethos, pathos, logos]
The administration’s peace rhetoric was aimed at domestic and international audiences, not the Vietnamese. Indeed, UN Secretary-General U Thant worked tirelessly during the 1960s to broker a peace agreement based on the Geneva Agreements of 1954, but to no avail. The real difficulty for Johnson and company would be to explain to the American people why American blood had been shed in Vietnam at all. Having passed up ripe opportunities to resolve the burgeoning war in Vietnam in late 1963, following the Diem overthrow, and in late 1964, following his re-election as the “peace candidate,” President Johnson sabotaged another opportunity to negotiate an end to the war in late 1966. The Hanoi government was prepared to sit down with U.S. representatives in secret talks arranged by Poland, code-named “Marigold,” when Johnson authorized bombing raids on the center of Hanoi for the first time on December 13 and 14. The North Vietnamese pulled out, the talks collapsed, and the war expanded.