Rhetoric is derived from two Greek words meaning “public speaker” and “oratorical.” Aristotle developed the five cannons of rhetoric which are memorization of the key persuasive points, persuasive argument, arrangement of language, development of a communication style, and effective delivery of the speech (Garver, 1995). Aristotle argues that, the personality of a speaker, the logic of his/ her argument and the emotional state of the audience can all donate to the supremacy of a rhetorical speech.
Rhetoric is something that we use constantly in our everyday life. Unbeknown to us, we have been using the persuasive appeals of pathos, ethos and logos even for the most mundane things. Rhetoric can be seen everywhere in our everyday’s lives in form of media, religion, politics, government propaganda, historic references and social media. We should learn to identify and appropriately use the different categories of rhetoric expressions in an effective manner. Rhetoric is the study of effective speaking and writing in order to convince the audience or the reader. It is sued to convince the audience to think in the same way as the arguer or the presenter.
Rhetoric can be found in our day to day lives and is essentially used to convince other people over something or to pass across a message in ones point of view. Its role in the society has changed outstandingly due to the quick growth of communication and the introduction of the social media and internet where people are bombarded with varying points of view. The most common places where rhetoric can be found are in social media and networking, religion, political speeches and advertising. In political speeches and advertisements, rhetoric gets the listeners who are the public to agree with the presenters point of view without arguing yet the arguer does not offer important information of intellectual value as to why they are insisting on their argument (Charteris-Black, 2011). For example, a politician may come to a podium and start arguing negatively about another party. Some politicians go to an extent of calling their opponents parties cancer that will eat up the society. This has negative implications but with no inherent meaning since, they have no prove of what they are alleging, all they want is the public to believe in them. Politicians use rhetoric in form of a metaphor by insinuating that their opponents share characteristics with certain things or anything of their choosing and at times it even sounds abusive. Some politicians who have failed to come to power and are striving to can even refer to their opponents as children who are not fit to be in power. Additionally, in politics politicians use rhetoric in convincing the voters that they are going to be the best leaders to run the states or country than their competitors and therefore, they will use persuasive language and even tokens just to lure the voters to vote for them. In politics, politicians can also use rhetoric in the form of anaphora whereby they will repeat certain words just to pass a message and to evoke an emotional response from the audience. An example is a politician while addressing the public while arguing against oppression, he/she might say “We must fight oppression because it makes people afraid of speaking up; oppression is something we have to fight with all our strength, let’s be together in fighting oppression.” This is just a reiteration of what has been said initially but the politician will use anaphora just to make the crowd cheer him/her and believe in what they are saying. In politics, one has to be liked by the public in order to be voted in and so, they use all elements of rhetoric to persuade the public into voting for them despite some of these elements harming their opponents. Ethos is used in politics but most politicians fail on this one. They should present their argument without attacking their opponents with confidence of what they are talking about in order to make the audience believe in them. Therefore, pathos, ethos and logos apply in modern politics and specific rhetorical devices are used to increase the effect for example anaphora, metaphor, diversion, confusion and composition.
In advertisement, rhetoric is used to convince potential buyers to buy or use a certain product. The presenter uses rhetoric to convince consumers that his/her product is the best in the market compared to other products from their competitors. The advertisers will use metaphors to insinuate that their products are superior to that of the opponents or even term their opponents products as inferior just to gain the people’s trust and making them buy their products. Another example of social media is how advertisements are done on ladies. Sometimes these advertisements are always against the societal rules depending on one’s upbringing, background and influences. The reactions from the society on these advertisements are varied but the advertiser only does what they think will lure the consumers to buy their products. Most advertisements leave a lasting impression on the viewers due to the rhetoric used and that aspect cannot be disputed as the people believe in what they are told in the advertisements. The goal of all advertisements is to lure potential clients and the advertisers use all forms of rhetoric persuasion and visual presentations to manipulate the audience into buying their products and believing in them. Ethos and pathos is used by some advertisers as they will try to build credibility with their audience and this makes their readers and audience believe in their argument. When advertising their products, they do not name their opponents but use general language other than insulting heir opponents and this makes the people believe in them. Most advertisers use visuals and real people to persuade their audience and the audience gets convinced easily. The advertiser needs to have knowledge on the subject before presenting it to the people ad they should speak with authority to exercise ethos. In addition, news is always broadcasted in a way that the listener is convinced of what he/she is being told. At times, reporters use rhetoric so as to make the news appear enticing jus to attract more viewers.
Many pieces of writing be it magazines, articles or books employ rhetoric in order to get the reader to agree with what the author is presenting. Many column writers in the newspapers always apply rhetoric I their writing in order to convince the readers to take their point of view concerning a certain subject, issue or event.
Rhetoric can be used in social network. An example is face book which has remained a puzzle to everyone. People from around the world update their face book status and everyone reads them unaware of its sophisticated rhetorical analysis they employ. Ethos, pathos and logos take place in Face book. Face book texts features images, sounds, videos and texts in order to support a person’s ideas and what he/she wants people to think about him/her. Face book is engaging and one has to navigate in a person’s profile in order to know more about them yet everything that is written there might just be lies and deception. People on social networks will do anything even faking their photos just to have a good reputation. There is little truth about what is updated by people in face book and what is perceived to be truth. In the social media, rhetoric elements are used in order to persuade and convince the audience (Persuit, 2013).
Moreover, rhetoric can be used by a person in ordinary life to convince colleagues, friends and even family that a certain person cannot be trusted. This can lead to someone being denied a chance to lead a group of people or a family member being disinherited because of the other person’s argument about him/her. In the workplace, when the people are contending for a position, they can use rhetoric in the form of hyperbole whereby a contender might argue that he/she has a hundred reasons why they are suited for a certain position. This is an exaggeration but they just want to let the people feel that they are the best candidates for the position. The contenders just wants to make themselves seem like the obvious choice for the position n contention while in actual sense, they do not have any good reason to pass across as to why they think they are good for the position.
Rhetoric elements are used in religion in order to persuade believers. Religious leaders have to use ethos and pathos to convince the people as to why they have to believe in a certain religion. There are a number of religions in the modern world today and all the religious groups want members to join them. This forces them to find a language to use in order to convince the people to join them and give those strong reasons and evidence as to why they should believe in God, Allah, Buddha and etc. Christians will always use the bible to convince their believers through scriptures and ancient book about Jesus Christ (Barrett, 2004). Christians use logos and ethos in their rhetoric elements in religion. They will always find facts to put across to defend what they believe in and they use logic in their arguments. In addition, most religious use authority to persuade their audience to believe in their religion and religious being (Dixo and Houck, 2006).
In conclusion, rhetoric is a form of convincing the public or a particular audience about a certain product or to think in a certain way. Rhetorical devices are used to manipulate one’s language to effectively transmit a message to the audience or reader persuasively and at times deceptively. Rhetoric is always all around us in our everyday life and it is more evident in our present modern society. Rhetoric is commonly used in religion, politics, social media, advertisements and other groups just to allure people to support their causes. These groups using rhetoric elements to lure us into supporting their causes affects our daily lives both economically, education wise and even in family perspective. Anything that we allow to rhetorically affect us dictates and determines our everyday’s life because they interconnected. Rhetoric challenges the virtue of the society and individuals as we are forced to go with what we are told ye we might be following the wrong choice. The society should not allow rhetoric to permeate their everyday’s life as it can affect the good values of the society. Rhetoric is very present in our everyday life but one should be free from its influence.
Barrett, J., L. (2004). Why Would Anyone Believe in God? Lanham, MD: Altamira Press.
Garver, E. Aristotle’s Rhetoric: An Art of Character. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995.
Dixo, D., E. and Houck, D., W. (2006). Rhetoric, Religion and the Civil Rights Movement 1954-1965 (Studies in Rhetoric and Religion) (Studies in Rhetoric & Religion). New York: Baylor University Press.
Persuit, J., M. (2013). Social Media and Integrated Marketing Communication: A Rhetorical Approach. New York: Lexington Books.
Charteris-Black, J. (2011). Politicians and Rhetoric: The Persuasive Power of Metaphor. Network: Palgrave MacMillan.
This Essay on "Rhetoric In Everyday Life Essay" was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Please send request the removal if you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on EduPRO.