Kait’s Visual Rhetoric


  1. To me, these pictures represent the battles fought in history for equality, as well as the battles we are still fighting today. I feel that these are some of the biggest and most controversial issues in our history and in our present. These pictures represent the battles fought and the many lives lost, and they are extremely sad but also extremely empowering and motivational. Even though I did not live through all of these events, they are still meaningful because they paved the way for us to be where we are now. The battles fought all those years ago effect the battles we are still fighting today. These images support the three principles of rhetoric, first off, because they do not tell the whole story. They could potentially eclipse the written or spoken word because people may take them at face value and not truly understand everything that happened. Also, they support the principles of rhetoric because they do simultaneously elicit positive and negative responses. While the circumstances surrounding many of these images are terribly sad and horrific, these images frame them in a motivational and hopeful light. Lastly, these images are consistent with the final principle of rhetoric because they are very efficient and emotional in the way they persuade. One does not have to read through history books to understand what is going on in some of these pictures. The images tell enough of the story to elicit these emotions and to efficiently persuade the viewer’s opinion on them.
  2. These pictures all are more of an artistic and metaphoric take on the overall message. None of them are speaking outright to the message, and the viewer would need some background knowledge to truly understand each image. This can alter perceptions because only a few of them have an obvious, outright message. People may take these at face value and may understand them differently than they would have if they would have that background knowledge. I think the artistic quality of these images contributes to the consummatory purpose because people are drawn to their simplistic but powerful message. Some are more powerful than others, for example the one with the quote from Malala is especially impactful because of the use of words.
  3. The overall tone of this collage is the injustices to different groups of people throughout history, and even still today. This is a tone that speaks to the sadness and anger associated with those injustices, but that also is motivational and a powerful message of fighting for equality and motivation to do better. The most powerful technical features in these images are in the words associated with the messages. Also, the real life images (of the riots and protests) contribute to the tone because these images seem more real than the drug image, for example.
  4. I would say the target audience for all of these have to do with the certain groups who have been discriminated against or are seen as unequal (women, African Americans, LGBT community), or even just people who are upset about these inequalities. All of these topics are very controversial and hot-button issues, which tend to have very passionate supporters and people against it. The problem with this images and the topics being represented is that those who are passionate about it already have their opinion. There is really no room for persuading people by these images. It is more like these images support the views already held by people.
  5. I believe all of these appeals are primary because they all are either outright in their message, or use a symbol or picture to make it clear. These are most likely cultural specific, however. For example, the red equal sign may not represent gay marriage in another country. For those who do understand these images, though, they provide responses of either sadness, anger, or hopefulness.
  6. I think the focus on these images have a lot to do with how they are perceived and the reaction they get. For example, if the picture of the riot with the man wearing the “free hugs” t-shirt showed the police beating people in the background, it would give people a negative reaction towards the police. It would make people think that the police are violent even when the citizens are being peaceful. That is not what happened in this picture, but different focuses or figures in the pictures make a big difference.
  7. Many of these pictures speak for themselves, but I think the person credited for the pictures makes a big difference. They will take the picture to create the kind of reaction they are looking for. Using the example used previously, if the person who took the picture at the riot wanted to color the police in a negative light, they would have waited to photograph the violence instead of a peaceful moment.
  8. I think the presentation of all of the pictures makes me realize how far we still have to go in the search for peace and equality. Seeing the women and African Americans in history protesting, and then seeing present day women and African Americans still protesting, makes me realize how little things have changed. Yes those people in history made huge strides and accomplishments, but the fact that we are fighting for virtually the same things makes me realize that things maybe did not change as much as we thought they did. Either that, or people do not learn from the past and we as a country have reverted back to the mindset we had years ago. Seeing these pictures from history and present day in a collage together allow us to see the big picture of these problems, and allow us to see how far we have come and how far we still have yet to go.



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