Rhetorical Devices In Blink

1024 Words 5 Pages
Television and magazine advertisements attempt to persuade people to buy products or use services. Companies convey their messages using various tactics depending on the medium. For example, advertisements on TV use catchy songs while magazines use flawless models. Authors, however, must only reply on words, not sound or sight, to convince their audience. They use rhetorical devices--metaphors, repetition, oxymorons, personification, hyperboles--to help their readers understand their message. A writer who accomplishes this task skillfully is Malcolm Gladwell, and the way he tells the audience his message is clearly visible in the introduction of his book, Blink. Gladwell convinces his Blink readers about the reality of unconscious decisions …show more content…
He starts the introduction with an anecdote about a supposedly ancient statue that looks abnormal. When art scholars look at the statue, they feel that there is something wrong with it, but they are incapable of pinpointing the exact error (1-3). Gladwell explains that the art scholars used their first instinct rather than close observations or logic to determine that the statue was illegitimate (4). The quick, instinctual, and thoughtless reaction to something is called unconscious decision-making (5). Contrary to popular belief, Gladwell believes that “decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately” (6). In the next paragraph, Malcolm Gladwell slightly refutes this statement by saying that instinctual decisions can be incorrect because of emotional distractions and other reasons (6). Last, Gladwell ends the introduction by blatantly stating what he wants to convince the audience of in the rest of Blink (6). He also affirms that the whole world would be different if humans relied on their instincts more often (7). Clearly, Blink’s persuasive introduction involves messages about quick …show more content…
One rhetorical device he uses to influence people is the rhetorical question. On page four, the author writes, “What does the Iowa experiment tell us?” Later on he states, “How long, for example, did it take you, when you were in college, to decide how good a teacher your professor was” (5)? Again, “Aren’t you curious about what happened in those two seconds” (5)? Out of context, these questions probably make little sense; however, it is still obvious from analysing them that they persuade effectively. In the first quotation about the Iowa experiment, Malcolm avoids singling the reader out by using “you” or singling himself out by using “I.” Using “us,” Gladwell addresses both the reader and himself in one grouping. By making the reader feel like he or she is a part of the book, Gladwell successfully convinces the reader of Gladwell’s views. Next, the second quote directly asks the reader an intuitive question. The reader must think about the past to get the answer. The intimate incorporation of a reader’s background into the text forms personal connections between the reader and the book. The book then convinces the reader of its content because he or she has something in common with the text. Finally, the last question sparks emotion in the reader. When Gladwell asks if the reader is curious, the reader, regardless if he or she was or was not interested in the first place,

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