Post #4: Dramatistic Analysis

Batman: The Animated Series is based on the DC Comics of Batman. The Series was known for its film noir aesthetics, darker tone, artistic presentation, and brings a comic superhero to more modern audiences. As a kid, Batman was my favorite superhero and TV show and to this day I still find myself coming back to it. Even though the show is targeted for kids, it has more adult-oriented themes to it, that now that I am an adult, I have a new-found respect for it. I will be using Dramatic Perspective for this blog post. I will look at the episode, Heart of Ice which is the episode where Victor Fries becomes Mister Freeze and his backstory unlike most villains is tragic and sets him apart from other villains.

Heart of Ice, starts off with Mister Freeze talking to a ballerina in a glass dome promising he will get revenge against the person who took her from him. After this, Gothcorp offices around Gotham start getting robbed with all of them being related to the buildings being frozen. Batman then finds out that someone is trying to make a “Freeze Ray” that could freeze the city. Batman later confronts Mister Freeze at one of the offices to try and stop him. Mister Freeze escapes and Batman starts trying to find out who Mister Freeze is. Batman sneaks into Gothcorp’s offices and finds a security camera tape of an accident. The accident is Victor Fries recording that he has put his wife into cryogenic stasis due to her being terminally ill, to give him time to find a cure. Ferris Boyle the owner of Grothcorp comes in to have it shut down stating that he has cut the funding to the project and he is using the equipment without authorization. He has one of the guards disconnect the equipment which would kill Fries’ wife. Fries takes one of guard’s guns and tells them to stay back. Boyle shoves Fries into a table of chemicals which fills the room with toxic gas making Fries unable to live without be under subzero temperatures and enables Fries to save his wife. Mister Freeze show up at an awards ceremony where he confronts Boyle stating that he took everything away from him and he will have his revenge. Batman comes in and stops Freeze before he could finish his plan and also gives the tape to a reporter telling Freeze he will have his justice against Boyle. The last scene is Freeze talking to the ballerina asking his wife to forgive him that he failed to avenge her.

Screenshot from Batman: The Animated Series

Dramatic Perspective is to break down a character’s motivation and how they justify their actions, so they will be redeemed by society. I will use Mister Freeze, from Batman the animated series, as the character for this perspective. The Pentad will be what I use to help explain this, by breaking it down into five elements of drama. One, the act, what is the rule breaking behavior. Mister Freeze is stealing from Gothcorp’s offices to create a freeze ray to take his revenge on Ferris Boyle. Two, the agent, who is doing the rule breaking behavior. Mister Freeze, formerly Victor Fries a scientist who must wear a suit that keeps him alive after an accident which causes him to be only able to live in subzero temperature. Third, the agency, the tools or means use for the act. That would be the freeze ray that he uses to freeze the building with Boyle in it and the suit that keeps him alive and give him super strength. Fourth, the scene. Gotham City, but to be more specific, the award ceremony. Fifth, the explanation to why the agent did the rule-breaking behavior. Mister Freeze wants revenge for himself and his wife against Ferris Boyle for turning him into a monster and having no means to save his wife. With this we get to the motive where this goes beyond the purpose to argue, but what justifies the rule breaking. We can label Mister Freeze under two of the three. One being Mortification, where the agent confesses his guilt and is punished for it. Mister Freeze asks his wife to forgive him and he is in jail for what he has done. The second label is victimage, where the guilt is absolved by blaming someone else. Mister Freeze blames Ferris Boyle for turning him into person he is now and for what happened to his wife. He also states that he is doing it for his wife who can no longer live because she in a stasis.

Screenshot from Batman: The Animated Series

Batman the animated series takes a villain and instead of just making him a basic villain, they give him a tragic back story that makes the viewer feel for him, but can also see where his actions are also justifiable by using dramatic perspective and the pentad to help lay it out for the viewer.

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Post #3: Narrative Analysis

Hey Arnold! is a cartoon that was on Nickelodeon. It follows a fourth grader named Arnold, who ends up solving or helping someone with a problem. The show was episodic, so each episode would cover a different problem some being more realistic and some being a little far fetched, but the show would use it cast of characters to best of it abilities to show problems that people can relate to, but to also give the characters life. With that being said, for a kid’s cartoon it teaches a good amount of life lessons that when I was a kid, I was able to pick up on. I will be breaking the episode, “Stinky Goes Hollywood” for this blog post and I will be using narrative perspective.

Screenshot from Hey Arnold!

The episode, “Stinky Goes Hollywood” takes place in Hillwood the city where everyone lives in Hey Arnold!. This episode follows Stinky Peterson, a country boy who would normally be a flat character for being a stereotype of a county hick, but ends up having character developed. The episode starts out with all the fourth graders seeing a sign asking for kids to audition to be the next “Yahoo Soda” spokesperson. All the fourth graders are going to the audition to see if they will win and Arnold asks Stinky if he wants to come to the audition also. Stinky decides to come, even though he said he didn’t have any talent at all, but would come because a friend asked. Stinky becomes the spokesperson and lets the fame go to his head and during this time everyone is liking him more because of his fame. This goes on until Stinky is giving Arnold a tour around the studio where they overhear the director (the antagonist) who said the only reason he hired Stinky is because he was a country hick and they wanted to have someone dumb to appeal to people for them to buy their soda. After hearing this Stinky decides to decline the money, instead of swallowing his pride for money.

Screenshot from Hey Arnold!

The episode is only fifteen minutes long and has a linear narration to it, showing how each event had had an impact later in the episode. From Stinky becoming the spokesperson to him finding out about why he was hired only for him to decline the offer. The characters in this episode are Arnold, who even though the main character of the series, he is a flat character for this episode with him being there to help the plot along. The director is a flat character because he is the antagonist for the episode and he is there to be the obstacle for Stinky. Now we have Stinky who is a round character because even though he fits in the stereotype of a county hick he then breaks that stereotype by showing that even though he has this new-found fame, he won’t let it change him if it means he has to damage his pride. This being a kid’s cartoon the target audience would be kids from seven to fourteen, because the characters are around that age, so the audience can relate to them, and also the plot is simple that they would able to pick up on the morals of the episodes.

Screenshot from Hey Arnold!

With Hey Arnold! being episodic it allows the writers to address certain morals for each episode. With, “Stinky Goes Hollywood” it addresses it better to keep your pride and who you are than someone that you aren’t. With the target audience begin preteen it helps them understand that it better to be yourself and be proud in that, instead of being a someone that your aren’t.

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Post #2: Neo-Aristotelian Analysis (Persuasive Strategies/Effects)

Bioshock is a first-person shooter game that came out in 2007. It’s takes the player into the underwater city of Rapture built by Andrew Ryan, who has the dream of creating a utopia away from land that isn’t ruled by government, religion, and ethics. This utopia, like any other story, quickly becomes a dystopian society. The player comes to rapture after a plane crash in the middle of the ocean and the first thing you encounter to is the same speech that everyone who came to rapture listens too. This speech is what I will be laying out in this blog of how it is a great example of Neo-Aristotelian.

The Rhetorical Situation: We first need to figure out a couple of things before we dive into Ryan’s speech and how he persuades people to live in his city. One, who is the speaker? The Speaker is the Businessman Andrew Ryan the man who created the city. Two, who is the audience? That would be the player in the game, and is also the citizen who now populate Rapture. Third, why does the speech begin given and what is the exigence of it? The speech is begin given to persuades like-minded people that they are begin held back by government, religion, and ethics. In this speech, Ryan has acknowledged that people are begin held back and have already taken action to fix it by creating Rapture, he just needs to persuade them to come. The Fourth, what are the constraints? Ryan’s obstacles are people who aren’t like-minded to him.

Now knowing what the Situation is let’s break it down on how Ryan’s speech is successful by breaking it down to the five canons. First invention. Ryan is asking the audience, “Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?” he then answers it three times back-to-back that you aren’t entitled to it, but someone else is. He then explained how he has fixed the issue by showing the audience Rapture and right after that gives a couple of examples of people who can live there with no fear of oppression. He uses artistic proofs to support his claim. He makes the audience question why their hard work is going to someone else and not to them. Then he shows his creditability by showing you Rapture, that his dream is a reality and you too can join him. Second, his arrangement the way he structures his speech. He first introduces himself and then ask the question followed by his answers before he gives his solution to the problem. He takes a moment before giving his answer. Then he continues by giving a couple of examples. He cuts it into three parts, first being question, second being the answer, and third begin examples.

Screenshot from Bioshock, 2007

Third his style. It one of charisma and dramatic. He keeps his voice in the same tone, but puts emphasis on a couple of words like every time he says, “No” and “Impossible”, and “Rapture” to capitalize on those words to persuade people that his idea is the city. Fourth is it memorable. During his speech, he shows the audience visuals of the problems, before he goes on to show us Rapture and when he says each one an image is there to have word association with image. And the Fifth, Delivery: Even though he isn’t present, his voice carries the speech well making his points on the problem and the solution, without raising his tone makes him seems calm, but he knows when to emphasize certain words to reinforce his ideas and taking pauses to add suspense to his next word. Also showing you thought images and showing the city itself when he says it in his speech helps drive home his idea.

The overall effect and implications of Ryan’s speech is right away he has people coming to live in this city that he created on the ideas in his speech. The long-term affect of it is really easy to know because the player shows up after the rapture has turn dystopian. That his idea of not being held down by government, religion, and ethics is the sole thing that destroys the city

Source: Bioshock. Irrational Games. 2K Games, 2007.

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Post #1 Introducing your Blog

Hello, my name is James Conner, a photography senior at Longwood University. I have been shooting sports and portrait photography for the last 10 years and am now working on the art side of the media.

The purpose of this blog is to analysis rhetorical tools used in film, pop culture, and multimodal texts that help them convey meaning in them. Yes, the blog is for my class, so my audience will be my classmates and professor, but also for anyone who would like to read what I’m thinking about how rhetoric is used in these forms of media. The content that I will be focusing on is film, tv shows, youtubers/streamers, and video games and how rhetoric is used in them to persuade, shape ideas and also influence the audience. I’m mainly dealing with them because I’m an avid movie goer and gamer, so I’m more at home with them and hoping to be able to comb out how rhetoric help shapes and influence them.

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