Post #4: Ideological Criticism

  • The artifact that I have chosen to exemplify ideological criticism is a visual media advertisement campaign of acceptance presented by Airbnb, an application that allows travelers to find homes to stay in rather than hotels much like a hostel.  Let’s take a look at the 30 second advertisement so we can all understand the discussion a bit more thoroughly.

  • Presented elements included in the advertisement include the presentation of a variety of races, ethnicity, beliefs, and ages.  However, the advertisement also includes the words “we accept” along with the message.  There is no speaking within this advertisement and there is soft music that plays in the background.


  • These elements suggest a variety of ideas.  While the amount of diversity included is hard to ignore, the message is not simply to acknowledge others with different views or backgrounds, the message includes the need to accept.  Many argue that in order to accept others, there is a need to accept those on the extreme ends of the spectrum who wish harm upon another group.  This advertisement suggests that there is a need to accept from everyone.  Along with acceptance, the lack of any speaker may suggest an emotional appeal to the viewers since they are reading the information in their own voice (unless someone is reading the text to them of course).  The lack of voice may also suggest a call to attention that the advertisement is made to be visual.  In order to understand what the advertisement is suggesting, the audience would be unable to do so by simply listening to the advertisement without visually watching the video as well.


  • The advertisements creates an ideology that is not just promoting diversity or the company.  The advertisement creates a feeling of inclusion and understanding.  The information could be interpreted differently depending on the audience.  Some viewers may see the campaign as a video that is “stating the obvious”, not working to make change- “slacktivism”, or that the advertisement is forcing the viewers to think a certain way or have a certain point of view.  However, the advertisement does not direct blame, does not attack any group, or include any negative statements.  The advertisement wants to emphasize inclusion and to inform the audience that the company is inclusive and accepts people for who they are, not what they look like or their beliefs.

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Post #3: Generic Criticism

Once Leonardo DiCaprio brought fame to Inception, audience members and theorists began to create intense theories about the meanings behind the film along with if the end is really all a dream or not.  Surprisingly enough, there are other films that fall into the mind jogging dream inception genre.  What makes up this brand new genre?  Let us dive in and find out.

Paprika is not an animated movie about spices, regardless of the joke references made about the girl being a spice, it is a movie about a technology company investing in dream access technology.  The movie has many characters who have two distinct personalities and characters, one in reality, and one in their dreams.  Dr. Chiba Atsuko is Paprika in her dreams and the movie alludes to the two characters having foil like character designs.  In the movie, the dream world and reality frequently confuse one another, even for those who believe they have control over the technology.  Many audiences have speculated if Paprika was actually the influence and inspiration for Inception.

Inception the movie, not the newly discovered genre, revolves around the idea of a thief, Dom Cobb, who enters the minds of others while utilizing experimental technology.  The movie has the main character go through numerous layers of other’s minds.  Many audience members, similarly to Paprika, speculate that the main character may continue to be in a dream or a Limbo like place even at the conclusion of the movie.


  • Both movies are about utilizing experimental technology.
  • Both aim to dive into the minds of others for some sort of manipulation (Inception- idea planting, Paprika- therapy).
  • Both have characters that act regardless of some sort of resistance.
  • Both leave the option open for the characters to still be in a dream like state perceived by the audience.
  • Both have moments where the audience and characters may not know if they are in reality or the dream-like state/Limbo.

In Short

What makes this genre unique and new is that the concept of creating multiple dream-like states where neither the audience nor characters can confidently be sure of if they are in reality or not is extremely difficult to write a script for successfully.  Both movies utilize experimental technology that is being used for crimes and have individuals attempting to gain control of the technology.  They create such a convincing dream-like state/Limbo that both characters and audience become unable to identify the reality they in at the time.  The Matrix could also fit into this genre as the originator but the resurgence in popularity falls to Inception.


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Post #2: Neo-Aristotelian Criticism

Transcript: in the options of the video.


The rhetor in this case is Frank Warren who is the founder of in which over a half-million secrets have been mailed to him as of 2012 and has only grown since.  The audience is obviously the individuals who are present in the presentation, but the audience is also a general audience of witnesses and spectators.  While not everyone within the audience, or viewing from the website have personally sent in secrets or seen theirs, those who view the secrets have become spectators to the secret being told.  They are not personally in the life of the individual who submitted the secret.  However, the intentional audience of each person who sends in their secret is completely different from secret to secret.  While this discussion is about the speech and the rhetor, this information is important because Frank Warren always shows some of the secrets to the audience during his speeches.

Frank drives home the importance of secrets and the need to share them.  When he posts secrets on his websites, features them in his books, and shows them to hundreds of thousands in an audience, he does so for the audience to connect with the secrets that are displayed and to create a sense of belongingness.  The secrets that he displays also creates new views and perspectives from many submitters to the receivers.  His choice to include comedic, woeful, personal, general, and heart wrenching secrets in his presentation balances the emotions that the audience experiences and is a witness to during the speech.

The purpose of Frank’s speech is to share the experience with others.  To let the audience know that there are parts of a person’s past that needs to be released in some way that they feel comfortable is truly emphasized in this speech.  Frank says in the speech, “I think in some ways, the reason I started the project, even though I didn’t know it at the time, was because I was struggling with my own secrets.  And it was through crowd-sourcing, it was through the kindness that strangers were showing me, that I could uncover, parts of my past that were haunting me.”

The arrangement that Frank has in his speech ends with strong emotional appeal, pathos.  By concluding the speech with a voicemail of a deceased grandmother sent in by someone who had viewed the secret, the emotional impact can be felt in the silence and respect that the crowd emanates.  Frank used memory by impacting the audience with the different types of secrets, heart wrenching or comedic, an audience member had a possibility of taking one of the secrets presented and really think about it after the event.  He also spoke with a natural, and soft voice.  He gesticulates frequently and utilizes props on stage.  He also ensures that the language he uses is understood by a majority of the audience.  He understands that his audience is not filled with scholars or with individuals who want a long speech.  He makes the most of what time he does have to leave the audience in awe and wonder, perhaps reflecting on their own secret.

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Post #1: Introducing My Blog

Hello, my name is Kimberly Daucher!  I am currently a senior in my final semester at Longwood University.  I will be graduating in May with a bachelors in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a minor in Rhetoric and Profession Writing.  I have completed other courses for my minor such as an internship with a photographer in California, a course on visual rhetoric, and courses on technical and professional writing.  I currently do not have a concrete plan as to what I wish to pursue once I graduate, but I believe that I will pursue a masters program.  My minor has opened my eyes into many different fields of opportunity that I never thought about in my first year.

This blog exists to demonstrate my understanding on rhetorical criticism as I learn about it throughout my semester.  I will be writing about the different topics that will be covered throughout this semester in Rhetorical Criticism from neo-Aristotelian criticism to pentadic criticism.  I also hope that those of you who read this will be able to expand on your understanding of the different types of rhetorical criticism.  I hope that this blog will also help explain to others what rhetoric means and the different interpretations and definitions.




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