We have explored many different styles of rhetoric this semester. As a reminder, we’ve investigated classical definitions from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. We have researched the numerous definitions from the “Oxford English Dictionary.” We made a comprehensive study of the devices, tools, and rhetorical strategies that offer the audience the critical tools for interpretation. The Early Semester Writing Inventory (that later turned into the 3rd paper) began the semester with a rigorous discussion about the themes of duality that were a major focus for us during this time. That “Huxley piece” actually hints at themes that are antithetical(opposite) to the themes of rhetoric we have been discussing since the beginning; or maybe you find them smack dab within the realm of all we’ve discussed. You be the judge. We concentrated on Martin Luther King’s Speech, “I Have a Dream”; we looked at Abraham Lincoln’s presidential policies. We’ve looked at the real world applications of Mark Twain’s “Two Views of the Mississippi.” You’ve written a paper discussing the rhetorical strategies employed by Twain and how they help the reader ascertain messages applicable to life. With the help of a PBS documentary (yet another example of rhetoric) we were able to channel some historical significance into the significance of the language Twain used. In a sense, the Twain essay was more than a comparison/contrast essay; it was the fetal stages of an argumentative/persuasive essay. In order to convince the reader that your interpretation followed a legitimate line of reasoning your rhetoric had to persuade to that end. Two movies (possible examples of rhetoric)that explored the themes that were apparent in the E.B. White piece helped generate thought beyond the rhetoric of “Once More to the Lake.” Maybe you remember other instances from this semester that aren’t necessarily listed in this last paragraph of rhetoric.
Write a paper in which you discuss the importance of rhetoric in this world. Speak about the importance of being able to decipher implicit messages found in the rhetoric you hear every day. What is the importance of explicit, literal, tangible rhetoric? How does a critical reading, viewing, or outlook prepare you to interpret, construe, and decipher the rhetoric you choose to believe or choose to shun? Does the ideology of your life seem like a reality or an illusion when thinking about the fact that we only listen to and hold dear the rhetoric that happens to touch us when we need it most?And that same rhetoric (by the way) was merely achieved by the rhetorician (at this point we are talking about parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, presidents, priests, teachers, guidance counselors, advisors, etc.) in that same fashion.Why is it important to understand, comprehend, synthesize, and buy into a world that seems to be filled with rhetoric that is no powerful than the power of words and ideas? Where do you find rhetoric? How is it that it has achieved such high regard? How simple is it for it to be disregarded? Should it be disregarded or put on a pedestal? To what end does rhetoric play in your life? Why is rhetoric important? Keep answering questions like these.
However, there is no need to treat these questions as an explicit template for writing this essay. I don’t want to see every question re-stated and then answered. You should use these interrogations as a loose framework for producing five pages of reflective thought about what went on in thissemester of rhetoric. Five pages – DueDecember 10.