Sample Critical Thinking On The Power Of Positive Thinking: A Rhetorical Analysis
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We have seen various representations of the quote, “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” which is a very famous proverbial principle. It describes or teaches a person how to achieve a good life as well as a good mind. Often representations include three persons doing the three things as described by the quote.
The picture contains three chimpanzees, or primates, as a representation of the quote. It is entitled The Power of Positive Thinking. Through its heavy and thick boarder lines, it is easy to take note that this picture is a comic strip. This idea was further supported by the name of the website, found on the lower left portion of the picture, where it was taken from. The website contains other comic strips as well as blogs. Since the picture is from a website, the target audience of the artist is young adults as well as comic enthusiasts. From the details of the comic strip that can be seen in the lower right portion of the picture, the comic strip was released on 2011. And by this time, the internet has taken a big chunk of the time of humans in this world. Because of this, the reason that the artist published this comic strip in a website is apparent, so that more audience could see the comic strip. Unlike, for example, if this was published in a local newspaper. In this way, only the population of that area can see the image. And in creating a representation of a universally known phrase, a wider range of audience must be targeted in order to impart the message more universally. Furthermore, in the website are other works of the artist which means that he already has a constant and wider range of audience.
As mentioned earlier, there are various representations of the famous phrase. But a lot of them contain humans as subject matters, which is a more straightforward technique since the phrase targets or aims to guide humans how to live a good life. In this comic strip, chimpanzees are used as representations or as subject matters. Chimpanzees are known to be one of the great apes in such a way that humans and the apes, as long as evolution is concerned, evolved from the same ancestral species which is now, of course extinct. Although humans and apes came from the same ancestral species, humans are more evolved when compared to apes. The artist might have used this concept in the comic strip. In using apes as subject matters, it somehow mocks humans in such a way that, humans are the more evolved species but it is the apes that hold the message. It is as if they are the ones teaching humans the lesson where it is supposed to be the other way around. The use of the subject matters also suggests that even if humans are more superior to apes, humans are not at all near perfect or superior as they claim to be. Humans still need reminders on how to live their lives for they often neglect several of things in their lives.
Comic strips can represent a serious topic and can be playful at the same time. Not only that the three chimpanzees represent the famous quote, each of them also has a note. The chimpanzee covering his ears is with a note saying, “See & Speak Evil.” The second ape covering his eyes is with a note, “Speak & Hear Evil.” And lastly, the chimpanzee covering his mouth has a note saying “Hear & See Evil.” It should be clear that the famous proverbial principle be taken seriously for it acts as a guide on how to live a good life. But in the comic strip, as can be seen in the first and second chimpanzee, the representation is more of humorous than serious for the apes are smiling. The smile of the apes are not wide smiles as if mocking but enough to tease the audience. This probably is because of the title of the comic strip, The Power of Positive Thinking. The proverbial principle aims to be done all at the same time. A person should not speak evil, should not hear evil and should not speak evil. But the artist dissected the phrase in such a way that, if you do not speak evil, then you can still do other two. It somehow makes sense that these three rules be not taken as one or all at the same time. If it were to be taken all at once, then representations should have used only one subject matter or in this case, only one ape. In this way, the message is simpler and that there are no loopholes. One might argue that the three apes are the same ape but there is actually no evidence that it is just one ape. Taking the proverbial principle as three separate rules is where the title of the comic strip comes to play. Taking advantage of the loopholes of the phrase could be taken as a positive thinking. A person is restricted to a rule but then with all the positivity, somehow, breaks out from those restrictions. That is why each of the chimpanzees was holding a note. Each of the three chimpanzees is restricted to one rule but can still do the other two. Without the notes, it would have been hard to relate the title to the comic strip itself. Because of this, somehow the artist manages to help the audience in getting the whole idea.
Just from the concept of it, it is as if the artist is suggesting finding loopholes in existing rules if you are caught in one. It’s as if the suggestion is for a person to always have a positive thinking because there is a certain power in having a positive mind. But take note that this is not how positive thinking should be used. Optimism should not be applied on situations where in a person needs to get away from something, for example, the law. But the message of the artist can be viewed from another perspective. Perhaps, the artist is trying to describe how most people act when they are caught up breaking the rules or laws. It is also important to take note that the audiences of the artist are young adults. From this perspective, the artist somehow describes that the new generation is more capable in finding ways to exempt their selves from the law.
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