Rhetorical Analysis Essay Sample
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Race, Color, Poster, Social Issues, Discrimination, Racial Discrimination, Racism, Picture
The essay is a rhetorical analysis of a poster that speaks against racial discrimination. The poster shows the effects of racial discrimination on the victims using textual and image elements. There is also a manipulation of colors to show the different moods in every message that the texts carry. The target audience includes my peers, educated and young. The purpose of a rhetorical analysis is to examine the interaction of the text, the audience and the author of the text. The audience of the poster is the general population. It includes individuals, companies and institutions .
The poster talks about the need to respect human beings of all races. The statement on the top, “I want respect regardless of my race,” is an indication of the voice of all human beings since everybody belongs to a particular race. The text elements on the poster are those that show the desperation that comes with racial discrimination. The first statement is at the top of the poster indicating the need for respect for all regardless of their race. Below that, on the left side of the poster is the declaration that St. Helens observes racial equality. Other words are found at the bottom of the poster in yellow and white. They indicate the severity of racial discrimination and the penalties of such behavior. However, all the positive information is written in white whereas the desperate demand is in black.
That shows the difference in the moods depicted by the texts. The colors in the picture display gloom and they help to convey the message better. The textual and image representations of the picture show the use of a desperate yet authoritative tone in the demand for respect. The additional text uses a calm and reassuring tone to convey hope. The tone and mood of the additional text is emphasized by the use of bright, but soft colors on the text.
Text Elements and the Rhetorical Appeals
The text is in black. It is plain and the yellow bright strip only serves to make the text visible. The title, “I want respect regardless of my race,” brings out the despair in the treatment that most marginalized races face. The statement on the poster is a demand and not a request. It reads, “I want respect” That shows that the oppressed party is tired of discrimination. It also implies that they are aware of their rights and they know that they have the right to demand for their rights.
There is text near the bottom of the poster that indicates, “St. Helens is no place for hate.” There text in this case is yellow in color. That shows the brightness that is experienced at St. Helens in relation to disrespect on the basis of race. The difference in the color of the text about St. Helen in comparison to the text that denotes the demand for respect denotes a difference in the mood of the two messages. The whole poster uses different colors for the two sets of texts to show the gloom that comes with racial discrimination and the joy and satisfaction that comes with the hope for equality and humane treatment. Thus, the text is a representative of the little hope of equality that exists.
It is also important to note that all the text that communicates hope is in bright colors. Examples include the statement about the criminal nature of racial discrimination. Information about the relevant contacts of reporting racial discrimination is also in yellow and white, denoting hope.
Visual Impact and the Rhetorical Appeals
The color scheme of the poster is black and white. It depicts the aspect of despair, frustration and negativity. Psychology proves that colors play a role in determining the mood of a picture or portrait. Bright colors depict happy moods. However, the use of dull colors to display the image plays a role in exposing the despair of the voice behind the tag.
The poster associates the voice with a man with his hands over his face. It is also possible to tell that the man is black even though the picture is in black and white. The association of the voice pleading for respect is equated to the black man because black people are among the most discriminated in the world. The reason could be that their race is easy to determine. The picture also has a black background to show the darkness that surrounds the man. The act of covering the face with the hands depicts the humiliation that the voice experiences because of their race. Covering of the face is also done during times of pain when one tries to hide their expression. Thus, the act is supposed to bring out the emotion when viewing the picture. The pain experienced as a result of humiliation based on the racial denomination of the person.
The little hope could also be associated with the use of the two contrasting colors. There is the dominant use of colors black white and grey, and the spared use of the bright color, yellow. Yellow is used sparingly whereas black and white dominates the poster. That is to show the distant future of racial equality, and the brightness that comes with the hope.
Visual rhetoric and the rhetoric analysis of text make it possible to explain the reason behind the interpretations given in different situations. Colors, choice of words and he choice of the picture determine the impact that a message has on the intended audience. Keen consideration should be given when choosing the colors to use in conveying certain messages because every item on the picture plays a role in conveying the message. The picture of analysis in the essay makes full use of colors and text to deliver the message of racial discrimination. There is the aspect of the frustration brought by racial discrimination, the demand for equality and the reassurance of protective action against violators. The colors used in the text bring out the message in the best way possible.
Hensford, Wendy and Brenda Bruggermann. Rhetorical Visions. New York: Prenticehall, 2006.