Pathetic appeals happen through vivid description-- text or image or video-- and they ask us to feel a certain way, to to interpret the situation in a particular light, and to follow a prescribed course of action.

Apparently, we're supposed to be guided by rational deliberation, and think-- not feel-- before we act.


Example of Emotional Repertoire-- a relatively stable range of emotions shared by a large group of people and often in response to situations or objects that these people all encounter in their public lives. In America-- sadness is stoic, other cultures-- loud dramatic crying, shaving head, long periods of withdrawal. America-- anger-- destructive, something to be suppressed. Ancient Greeks-- anger was a positive thing and should be relished, like revenge. To my generation, the F-word was the worst of the worst of swear words. To this generation-- it's an adjective. Any other examples?

Unlike Spock, we don't always let reason guide us; we are often guided by feelings. Just part of our nature, and advertisers know this. This isn't new-- it's been a conversation for 2000 years. Aristotle specifically attributes three functions to any emotion--
The first two often happen together. Rhetorical analysis explores how these come together, how they influence the audience, and how this is all invoked by a discourse

Some terms and ideas--

Pathemata: causes for emotion-- to arouse, intensify, or change the audience's emotion. Then the emotion functions as a reason for embracing an idea or taking action. text

Back to video-- Two elements of filmmaking that elicit strong emotional responses--
Cool register vs. Hot register-- cool is more subdued, careful not to excite the overly cynical, hot is in your face affective intensity.

Images affect us emotionally because they are vivid-- they present life as it is: Who remembers this?
What does your body feel when you see this? How do you interpret it? What is your behavior in response to it?

Another example: horror movies. Can't handle them. My affect-- nausea. Interpretation-- they're stupid and bad for society in general. Behavior? Run. Run away. You?

An astute rhetorical analyst can locate an affect, can notice a behavior, can find their allied interpretation, and can theorize a new emotional appeal, incorporating the same affect into a new interpretation, a new behavioral response, and thus a wholly different argument. Kind of an "if/then....then" scenario-- "if this moved you, then this really will."


Video is even more vivid: I can judge a good movie if I spend the entire duration NOT thinking about my to-do list. Example--

Pay attention to what you feel (what your body does), how you interpret cognitively, and any behaviors you have during this trailer- jot some things down.

Rhetorical analysis helps us to see how we can argue for different feelings about and different behaviors toward the same object-- do we have any of this in relation to this trailer?

"Cliche horror movie move" according to the 13 year old boy--
Questions for Analysis: Use these in your group to analyze our final video-- they are on pages 230-1 in your text if you would rather look at them there.

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