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Rhetorical Analysis - Essay Example

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June 3, 2015 Rhetorical Analysis of Gasland The video entitled Gasland is a documentary that highlights the impact of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas which allegedly contaminates drinking water. The narrator, writer and director, Josh Fox, travelled to different states, particularly in Dimock, Pennsylvania; in the Jonah Gas Fields, in Sublette County, Wyoming; in Weld County, Colorado; Fort Worth, Texas; and even in Louisiana; among others…
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Rhetorical Analysis
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Rhetorical Analysis

One of the rhetorical strategies used in the documentary was the manner by which the narrator gathered evidences from people through verbal communication or speech. Through the journey, Josh Fox had interviewed an estimated number of about 20 individuals who were directly affected by the gas wells; and about 5 experts in the fields of environmental protection, public service, quality specialists, medical practitioner, and representative of the Environmental Protection Agency. The manner by which these individuals and experts provided testimonies to their verbal disclosures viably supported their arguments that since the oil and gas wells were drilled in their respective properties, their drinking water had been seriously contaminated. Aside from relaying the information verbally, most of the testimonies provided evidences in terms of showing the kind of water collected from their faucets; and even proving that when lit, water from the faucet ignites into flame. Likewise, some of the people who were interviewed explicitly indicated the negative impact of these wells; such as Debbie May who relayed that the drinking water initially tasted like metal and turned into murky brown. In addition, she also showed that her cat and horse exhibited shedding of their hair, as a result of being exposed to these gas wells. Thus, the people who provided verbal discourse were effective in appealing both through logic (through visual support) and emotions (by indicating health hazards and conditions which were experienced); as such, were effective in providing the needed proof to substantiate their allegations that the gas well were detrimental to their lives. Another rhetorical strategy used by Fox was the selection and choice of sound. It was evident that Fox was able to creatively incorporate background music, the sounds of machines, the sounds of the wind or water from the streams, the sound of children playing, and even an intermittent sound of silence. For instance, the documentary started with Fox playing the banjo and the end of the documentary also showed a man playing a musical instrument, which effectively integrates the whole creative work. Also, the sounds of the telephone ringing, the busy tone, and the background music of the answering machine were very effective in relaying the message that the narrator had been trying to call different people and organizations to set the needed interviews for the documentary. These sounds and background music were all effective in appealing to the emotions of viewers. Sound and music provide an enhancing ability to emphasize an argument or a point being asserted. Likewise, background music, for instance, was instrumental in bridging one completed scene or topic and used to transcend into a new issue or concern. The sounds actually enhanced and emphasized the arguments, as needed. Finally, the narrator also used the rhetorical strategy of visuals. Aside from the scenery and the people who were interviewed, visuals also included graphics through stating relevant quotes, such as “water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink” (Moldovan) written in bold, white face and in all capital letters against a ... Read More
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