Visual Rhetoric

High school
Case Study
Philosophy
Pages 10 (2510 words)
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The two images that are examined in this essay are both messages on gun control. The first image is a cartoon in black and white, employing irony to ironically convey an underlying message that supports gun control. The second image is in color, with a bold, black border…

Introduction

Visual rhetoric is the use of images in order to further an argument, and encompasses the analysis of the visual images and text as well as their arrangement on a page. (www.owl.english.purdue.edu). Through the nature and form of the visual images as well as the corresponding text that is used, the two images which are the subject of this essay, both convey differing, contradictory messages on the same issue of gun control.
The first image is a black and white cartoon image. Editorial cartoons are communicative tools because the cartoonist makes use of visual symbols for the purpose of communicating with his or her audience. In order to be classified as a visual rhetoric, an artifact must possess three elements (a) it must be symbolic (b) it must involve human interaction and (c) it must be presented to an audience for the purpose of communicating. (Foss, 2004: 304). Both the images qualify as visual rhetoric because they are utilized to symbolically convey a message on gun control and both images involve human characters.
The first image is entirely in black and white and utilizes black text on a white background which shows high contrast levels. Since this image is purely in black and white, it utilizes shading in order to heighten contrasts. ...
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