Project #1

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    Joshua Woo

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>The artifact that I chose for my rhetorical analysis is a Political Cartoon. The cartoon is a drawing of two elephants dressed in suits that are on top of the white house. Only the very top of the white house can be seen as the rest is submerged underwater. At the top right of the cartoon, there is a time period of when the cartoon is taking place that says “Washington 2050”. Finally, there is a very brief statement made by one of the Elephants who says “Uh, still no evidence of manmade climate change. We’ll let you know if any floats by.” Finally, the cartoon has the author’s name as well as the outlet in which the cartoon was published at the top left of the cartoon. In my opinion, the message that the rhetor is trying to convey is that climate change is not only a man-made issue, but that it is also an issue that is starting to become dangerous because of a lack of regulation. Yet, the Republican conservatives in the White House that have the power to stop the consequences of climate change continue to ignore even the existence of climate change. This cartoon, as well as all political cartoons, is a medium by which the four methods of rhetorical strategies, Ethos, Logos, Pathos and Kairos, are used extensively in the form of visual rhetoric. </span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>The first use of rhetoric in the cartoon is persuasion through the trust of the rhetor’s credibility, or Ethos. Although the cartoon does not directly address the credibility of the rhetor, it does say the name of a person and next to it, the name of a publishing company. Drew Sheneman is a well known editorial cartoonist with a very impressive resume in the realm of political cartoons. Sheneman graduated Central Michigan University and worked at The Star Ledger for most of his career. In his 20 year career as an editorial cartoonist, Sheneman won many awards for his cartoons, most notable the “Vic Cantone Editorial Cartoon Award”. Tribune Content Agency is a large media company that sends comics and political cartoons to news and media outlets all across the country, such as the L.A. Times and ABC news. With the variety of accolades that Drew Sheneman has received over his illustrious career and the widespread influence of the Tribune Content Agency, there is no question over the credibility and legitimacy of the political cartoon. </span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>The second form of rhetoric used in the political cartoon is logical reasoning, or Logos. In the cartoon, the two elephants, that symbolize the republican conservatives that are currently in the white house, are staring at the water that has submerged almost all of the building. In the case of this political cartoon, Sheneman uses the image of a submerged White House as an appeal to logic. In order to appeal to the logical and reasonable response for addressing the issues of climate change, Sheneman attacks how unreasonable the Republican conservatives are being. It can clearly be seen by the unnatural water level that climate change is dangerous and needs to be addressed. However, the republican conservatives are shown to be unreasonable with the dialogue in the cartoon, “Still no evidence of manmade climate change, We’ll let you know if any float by”. The lack of understanding and reason of the republican conservatives works to accentuate the logic of the central message of the cartoon, which is to prevent and regulate climate change.</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>The third form of rhetoric used by Sheneman to prove his point is the appeal to emotion, or Pathos. The two emotions that the cartoon invokes in the audience are shock followed by anger. The first thing that is felt when seeing the cartoon is shock because of the water level. Even with unnatural powers at play, to have the water level reach the top of the white, which is fairly inland, is unimaginable. However, Sheneman exaggerates the possible results of climate change to give his audience an initial shock and undeniable belief that climate change does exist and is becoming more and more dangerous. The next emotion followed by the initial emotion of shock is anger. The blatant ignorance of the statement made by one of the Elephants, about not seeing any evidence of manmade climate change, serves to tap into an emotion of anger. The fact that the audience can clearly see the devastating effect of climate change, leads to the frustration that the “intelligent” politicians in the White House who have the ability to enact change are completely oblivious to such obvious dangers. This combination of the audiences’ shock and anger serves to promote the rhetor’s argument for increased government regulation of factors that lead to climate change and to denounce the ignorance of the republican conservatives in the White House.</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>The fourth and last of the strategies used in rhetoric is the persuasion of the audience using the relationship between the artifact and the events surrounding the artifact, or Kairos. Although the issue of climate change has been around for quite some time now, it still remains a relevant topic today because it has yet to be recognized universally, let alone resolved and because of the recent election of a republican president and a republican-controlled congress. The fairly recent election of President Donald Trump in combination with the unprecedented consequences of climate change has accentuated the relevancy of this political cartoon. If it is not bad enough that President Trump has gone on record, denying the consequences of climate change, congress is currently under the control of the Republican Party. With all the parties that have the power to enact reforms regarding climate change completely ignorant to the effects and even the existence of climate change, it can be fair to say any form of change is distant. The ignorance of the Republican Party is a pressing issue because climate change is getting worse as time goes on. Due to climate change, polar ice caps are melting at an accelerated rate that is only getting faster and faster. Now more than ever, the effects of climate change are becoming more devastating especially in recent light of hurricane Florence. Although the evidence that climate change had an effect on hurricane Florence is still debatable, the relationship between climate change and weather is enough for the audience to make a connection between the two. The recent events of President Trump’s’ election and the devastation of hurricane Florence both accentuate the relevancy of the cartoon, which also empowered it’s message and argument about reforming factors that contribute to climate change.</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Well, did it work? Although I already believed in climate change and the detrimental effects it had on weather, the cartoon made me believe that the effects of climate change was worse than I had imagined. The rhetor succeed in evoking a feeling of anger at the blatant ignorance of the republicans in power. Overall, I would say that the political cartoon had a variety of rhetorical strategies that were used effectively. The rhetor, Drew Sheneman is a renowned editorial cartoonist who’s cartoons are very effective. This specific political cartoon was especially effective in using rhetorical strategies and was very persuasive in it’s message.</span>

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