Psychology Of Rhetorical Images Analysis

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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 …show more content…
Roosevelt’s “New Deal” to support his analysis of “The People,” noting: “Roosevelt’s “people” judged their condition by predominantly vital criteria and therefore abandoned an economic tradition in favor of a “New Deal,” a new myth. In time, the “New Deal” stabilized, became part of the stable tradition of subsequent generations, an “old deal” (246). In Roosevelt’s case, the imagery that was employed to constitute a “people” was based on the conditions that American citizens were facing in Great Depression-era America. These conditions, namely the widespread lack of economic stability, high unemployment rates and longing for change, coupled with an unwillingness of the federal government to intervene under President Herbert Hoover created a desire for stability among Americans that manifested into “cultural values.” Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the American public throughout his campaign, appealing to the hunger for stability and desire for change with his proposal of the “New Deal.” Due to the emergence of these two values that had solidified during the Great Depression, the Roosevelt campaign’s “New Deal” rhetoric used imagery that most likely evoked emotions related to the hopelessness, fear, and agony experienced by the many struggling citizens during times of economic distress. It was this imagery and the associated emotional responses that led to Roosevelt becoming the 32nd President of the United States of …show more content…
Viewing the problem of economic instability as a binary problem, which is either solved or unsolved, the initial “New Deal” was a failure. The legislation passed following President Roosevelt’s inauguration was not enough to solve the issue according to a history.com article which explains, “Despite the best efforts of President Roosevelt and his cabinet, however, the Great Depression continued—the nation’s economy continued to wheeze; unemployment persisted; and people grew angrier and more desperate” (history.com). Furthermore, the “failure” of the initial “New Deal” led Roosevelt to more aggressive social welfare tactics, such as the Social Security Act of 1935, one of the laws that initially sparked the national debt issues that are negatively impacting Americans at an increasing rate. During the financial starvation of the 1930s, the “New Deal” was viewed as a success, as would any marginal relief, no matter how minor. In order to understand the contradictory argument that the “New Deal” was an overall failure, a shift in perspective is required, and a greater emphasis must be placed on the economic troubles that are emerging in modern America’s national debt issue. Nonetheless, the fleeting concept of

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