Rhetorical Analysis Of ' The Psychology Of Rhetorical Images '

797 Words Nov 15th, 2016 4 Pages
The persuasive value of rhetorical imagery is intrinsically linked to mass persuasion in public discourse. Charles A. Hill, in “The Psychology of Rhetorical Images,” analyzes the persuasive ability of rhetorical images, arguing that images are persuasive when they are presented in a way that appeals to what he defines as a “cultural value;” a category that includes: patriotism, prejudice, motherhood, and freedom. This appeal causes a complex emotional response in audience members, which is the fundamental persuasive aspect of an image. Further, Hill explains that “Professional persuaders—politicians, attorneys, marketing experts, etc.—exploit the linkage between emotions, values, and particular images by creating associations between those images and abstract values that the persuader wishes to make more present to the audience” (35). The effectiveness of images as a persuasive medium is tied to mass persuasion when leaders rhetorically constitute the parameters for what Michael C. McGee terms “The People.” Specifically, “The People” is a general term for the outcome of a successful attempt at mass persuasion. “The advocate, he suggests, dangles a dramatic vision of the people before his audience” (McGee, 239). In McGee’s text, the advocate is a speaker or leader, and his “dramatic vision” is the image of society that is being proposed. This image is strategically constructed based on historical interpretations and value-based rhetoric. If the advocate is…

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