When the Levees Broke Rhetorical Analysis Essay

1633 Words Apr 8th, 2013 7 Pages
Chase Caldwell
Professor Gwaltney
English 1102
14 March 2013
When The Levees Broke Rhetorical Analysis Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana on the morning of August 29, 2005. The storm produced sustained winds of up 125 mph when it hit that morning. On that same day Katrina caused 53 different levee breaches in greater New Orleans, spilling the waters of Lake Pontchartrain into the city and flooding an overwhelming majority of New Orleans. The floodwaters destroyed countless homes and lives along the way. Some estimates of the cost of Katrina were up in the 200 billions but according to Kimberly Amadeo, “The actual cost of Hurricane Katrina's damage was between $96-$125 billion, with $40-$66 billion in insured losses.” This
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Lee conveys this argument in a number of different ways. For instance, he conveys the argument by interviewing a multitude of people that lived through Katrina and has them explain their unrest and disappointment in the government on camera. He also shows photographs of posters and paintings that read things like “Where’s Fema?” and “Fuck Bush”. These tactics make it quite easy to see that Lee is upset with the Government.
He uses a number of appeals to get his argument across. He mostly uses pathos by using horrific eyewitness accounts and gruesome photographs to stab at the audience’s emotions. The audience cannot help but feel terrible for the people who had to go through this. One of the worst feelings is watching someone cry over their lost home or hear an account of someone who comes home to their dead mother. Lee undoubtedly does a good job of evoking emotion from the audience. Lee interviews a melting pot of people in this documentary. It seems like there is an interviewee from almost every walk of life. In fact HBO explored just how many people Lee interviewed:
Lee and his team selected close to 100 people from diverse backgrounds and representing a wide range of opinions to interview, including Governor Kathleen Blanco; Mayor Ray Nagin; residents Phyllis Montana LeBlanc, Kimberly Polk, Shelton "Shakespeare" Alexander and Rev. Williams; activists Al Sharpton and Harry Belafonte; CNN's Soledad O'Brien; and musicians Wynton

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