Peter’s Visual Rhetoric


  1. I take great pride in the country that I am from. The feelings that I have for the pictures above are very strong. I feel happy, sad, strong, encouraged, motivated, proud, and thankful. I feel that you do not need to have lived through these events to be meaningful because they are three pictures in my collage that I did not experience first hand, but because of those events happening things would not be the same way as they are today. These pictures support the three principles of visual rhetoric. The three principles of visual rhetoric are: visual messages are persuasive and threaten to eclipse the influence of the spoken and written word in the twenty-first century. These pictures influence what is spoken and written during the time of the pictures in the twenty-first century. Some of these pictures do not take place during the twenty-first century, but are still important in this country’s history as it shows what was happening during that time and what would go on to happen in this country. Visual messages are volatile, eliciting positive and negative simultaneously. In one way or another the pictures represent either positive or negative messages. A positive form could be Jackie Robinson in what he represented and did to help segregate our country, or a negative form in the picture of the twin towers burning from the attacks of 9/11. Finally, visual messages are efficient, emotional, and enthymematic in the way they persuade. The montage of photos show an emotional appeal in triumph of victory whether it be in war or battling segregation in our country. The images are efficient as they are important in multitasking and making quick decisions on what is going on in the world at that time.
  2. I believe that each picture helps create a virtual experience and alters  perception. When I look at these pictures, I see historical events that took place sometime during our country’s history. Each picture is solitary and has no influence on the audience. The audience can put themselves into the picture with what is going on during that time, but no matter what the audience cannot change the outcome of that picture. Misperception can occur by what one thinks about what the picture means and what actually happens. For example, the picture of Micheal Phelps. The picture shows him with his hands up almost like he was confused or was upset about the outcome of the race. But, in reality he won the race by a long shot and was holding his arms up as in he was showing he is the greatest swimmer. Each picture serves as a instrumental or consummatory purpose because each picture has a different response to what was going on in the country at the time. Such as the picture of Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington D.C. The picture shows Dr. King talking to the people outside the Lincoln Memorial during a time of racial unjust in the country. He fought for and help start the Civil Rights Movement so that African-Americans would be treated equally. Some pictures measure better than others in achieving these purposes because you can tell by the picture what it depicts and what happens. For example, the picture of Martin Luther King Jr. and of the World Trade Center. People who see these pictures know what happened and the result of these events. Pictures that don’t achieve this purpose would be the pictures of Jackie Robinson or of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Looking at Jackie Robinson people would just say he is a baseball player, but he did much more than that and helped with the Civil Rights Movement by becoming the first African-American to play professional baseball. The picture of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton people would think of just a man and a woman, however, it is a picture of two people who are running for President. Somebody who did not know that would not be able to tell just by looking at the picture.
  3.  The general tone of each picture describes what the feeling is in the picture. There are many different types of tone such as the picture of the Twin Towers having smoke come from them. The tone of this picture could be many things. Back in 2001 the tone could be horror or terror because of the surprise attack on the United States and the thousands of people who lost their lives in the destruction of the towers. The tone of the picture in today’s society could be sadness or mournful in remembering important event that happened that day in our country’s history and remembering all the people who lost their lives that day. The basic elements and technical features contribute to the tone of these pictures because each one shows what is going on in the picture and helps define the situation and how people were feeling at the time. The picture of the Twin Towers burning is an emotional horror that reminds everyone just what went on that day and the idea of warfare.
  4.  Yes you can discern a target audience for each picture. Of the twelve pictures I have selected none of them are discriminating anyone. There is a consumer interest in what the people want. Depending on what type of picture they want and how they want it to be shown such as the picture of the soldier. It could have been a picture of just a soldier, but it has Middle Eastern boys in it with the soldier being happy almost wanting to play with him. These pictures do not invite voyeur tendencies as they do not appeal to a certain sexuality or show sexual behavior.
  5. Some pictures appeal more as a primary than to others. Being a primary appeal is made by being persuaded by the photo. Such as the picture of the Twin Towers with smoke coming from them. To other people around the world they look at that photo just as an attack on the buildings in New York City, but Americans look at it as an attack on our country and an appeal to sorrow and terror. These pictures are both universal and cultural depending on what picture it is. The picture of Micheal Phelps, the World Trade Center, and of the soldier are universal because they revert to things around the world. The other pictures appeal to culture because they all deal with what is going on in our country alone.
  6.  To help form an enthymematic response when shown to people who recognize the reference, the World Trade Center. The World Trade Center being hit by the planes shows terror and sorrow and fear without having to say it, but just by looking at the picture.
  7. The organization or individual credited for the pictures does not always influence the credibility because they were all created to show one side to the story the picture is telling.  The picture of the two smart phones are just a picture for an advertisement, but they are trying to show that they are better than any other smart phone. This shows no credibility because it does not show that it is the best smart phone on the market it just says that it is. Same as the picture of the African-American in front of all the police. The photographer is showing a protest taking place in North Carolina and makes it seem that all police are against African-Americans when truly that is not the matter of the case. So each picture does not all show credibility to the photographer.
  8.  These twelve pictures influence my reaction to each one of them structured as a montage because it shows me what the view of America truly is. From the beginning it shows what this country was built up through and what it has become. By looking at the montage you can tell that we have had our dark times in this country whether it be an attack on our homeland or segregation taking place. But, it also shows the uprising and the light we saw with adversity we have overcome in allowing African-Americans to play baseball and showing that terrorists can try to destroy us, but they will never take our hope and of the flag in the stadiums showing our pride in our country no matter what we have been through we still feel we live in the greatest country on earth.

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