What is an effective sample of a Rhetoric Essay Analysis?

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Rhetoric is the enhanced art of speaking or writing effectively. There are many rules that are used to create proper usage of rhetoric. In movies, famous speeches are often portrayed with excellent rhetoric that are frequently given by memorable characters and evoke emotions from the audience. Such speeches give movies the substance needed to complete a masterpiece that has lasting effects on the written work in its entirety. Examples of these speeches can be seen through three different movies like Network, Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List.



According to an American Literary critic, in his book, The Rhetoric of Rhetoric, there are many ways to distinguish the best examples of rhetoric. Rhetoric should persuade or captivate in a way that is necessary to express a certain view, or many views. (Booth) The speech should not be too pompous or confusing, but rather simplistic. They should enlighten and ease the mind of the listener with simplicity, but also persuade in a non forceful tactic of speaking. The persuasive simplicity, strong tones and the effect on the audience are greatly shown through the economic hardships, war, and hope against anti-Semitism in the three different movies.

In the 1976 movie, Network, the character Howard Beale displays effective rhetoric speaking. Howard Beale struggles with depression and insanity throughout the movie. However, his producer, instead of giving him the medical help he needs, uses him as a tool for getting higher ratings. The image of Howard Beale is of him in a beige coat with his wet, gray hair plastered to his head. He is standing up during the middle of his newscast saying, "I'm as mad as Hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" which becomes one of the most memorable scenes in film history.



His speech called, “Mad as Hell,” captivated his audience and persuaded them into being angry as well about the economic struggles being faced at the time. The economy seems to try to stay afloat after many lose their jobs. While many lose their jobs, the Wall Street bonuses outrageously begin to exceed. His simplistic language influenced the common television viewer to understand his opinions on his frustrations about the economy. It was not too pompous or confusing and had a definite tone that not only defined the character, but also made the speech memorable for the viewers of his broadcasting system, therefore also, for the movie itself.

Another form of memorable rhetoric can be seen in the 1998 film, Saving Private Ryan. After leading a company of Rangers in the battle for Omaha beach on D-Day, Captain John Miller is sent on a mission to find paratrooper by the name of Private James Ryan and bring him home safely. Ryan's three brothers have all been killed in action and the government wants him returned to his family. He is fighting with his unit somewhere inland, but no one knows where. After many failed attempts to find Ryan, the men the Captain chose for the dangerous mission become weary and pessimistic about their mission and want to give up.

Captain John Miller, played by the actor Tom Hanks, addresses his unit to save Private Ryan, in a speech that creates optimism in his comrades and influences them to carry on. Captain Miller finally lets his guard down and talks to his troop like friends and discusses his home life and how important the mission is in regards to his personal feelings about the war and returning to his wife. His tone is not one that dominates the rest, but actually is at a level that shows respect and dignity towards the other men.

It was the simple statements and confidence in his speech that gave the group of men the strength to want to endure the mission until Ryan was found. This side of Miller showed every aspect of him and allowed the audience to know that he was a respectable man. This has a lot to say about Miller and his ability to bring his entire troop together and make them one. The mission that Captain Miller led was a success because of not only his leadership, but his way of speaking that evoked the courageous attitudes from his men.

The third example of strong rhetoric can be seen in the 1993 movie, Schindler’s List. Towards the end of the movie, the memorable speech Oskar Schindler addresses to twelve-hundred Jewish Brunnlitz factory workers and Nazi guards becomes the most remembered speech in the entire movie. It is the farewell speech, spoken by the actor Liam Neeson; to the Jewish people he saved that presented the most impact.

In the movie, Schindler is not really interested the cause of the war. He is really only interested in profits to be made. Schindler hires only Jews from the nearby Krakow ghetto, the cheapest labor available. As time goes by, Schindler becomes attached to his Jewish workers, to the point where he spends all of his fortunes to save the Jews from being sent to Auschwitz and other death camps. He even goes as far as relocating his factory and bribing officials to retain possession of his Jews.

The speech in the end centers around Schindler talking about the war being over and how many of the Jewish people there will not find any surviving members of their family. He is saddened and disgusted by the anti-Semitism that had brought forth such horror to his workers. It is a touching speech, due to the fact that Schindler states the simple facts in a calm composure. He then, breaks down sharing with them his opinion on how he could have saved them all. The Jewish factory workers all then pray for him, and even give Schindler a golden ring they had made together, which is engraved with the saying, “He who saves a single life saves the entire world." The emotional extravagance of the speech and the reaction the Jewish people have in gratitude towards him express the absolute power his words and influence had at the time.

The three movies Network, Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List are all excellent examples of powerful American Rhetoric. The persuasive simplicity, strong tones and the effects on the audience created speeches that became remembered and influential in the history of films. Each speech giver uses their own unique technique to capture the audience in an effective manner. They each allowed the listener to take on their perspective and transfer the emotional concepts evoked in the messages.

Howard Beale, in Network, used a strong forceful tone and the harsh realities of the economic times to make the viewers yell out, “I’m mad as hell!” in a way that saved the TV station and allowed people to let out economic frustrations. Captain John Miller spoke truly and honestly about his home life and opened up to his troop in the toughest of times, which lead them to proceed with their quest to save Ryan. Oskar Schindler stood firmly above the Jewish people in his factory and told them the truth about the on goings of the war, and conveyed his genuine sorrow for wishing to save more of their people.

All three men used different ways of expressing their views in such ways that empowered their listeners and created emotional connections. All audiences were receptive to the powerful rhetoric and were influenced in course of actions as well as the emotional states of mind.

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