Rhetorical Analysis Essay - Taylor Kantner (2023)

I would say that our essay on rhetorical analysis was one of the most interesting of my articles. I decided to take a song and describe the spirit, pathos and logos in the lyrics. It's a song that's been around for a while, it's called "Where is the love?" by the Black Eyed Peas and I feel like it really underlined the rhetoric. The message the song is trying to convey is basically why we can't stop fighting and hurting other people and just love each other. A little impractical maybe, but it really opens your eyes to what is happening in the world and how it can affect the children who see and experience the tragedies that are happening today. It's also one of my favorite songs, which made writing the article a bit easier. I think this essay shows some of my strengths in writing by describing ethos, pathos and logos and applying them to something like a song. This assignment also allowed me to delve a little deeper into the music by looking at all the lyrics I was able to understand the exact message the group was trying to convey, although just listening most likely conveyed the same would have had an effect.

Taylor Cantner

Rhetorical Analysis Essay



where is the love

"What's wrong with the world, mom? People live as if they don't have a mother.” The Black Eyed Peas open their song “Where is the love?” and grab the audience's attention with this line. Starting with a question grabs the audience's attention and forces them to think and notice something important that is happening in our world today. Although this song debuted nine years ago in 2003, it's still relevant to the world we live in today. That's how great the effect of this song was on people who still hear it today. Three concepts that appear in the lyrics of this song are logos, ethos and pathos. Logos are the basic logic people can get out of something, ethos is the credibility of the piece being discussed and pathos is the emotional factor and touches people in some way, good or bad. The Black Eyed Peas song "Where's the love?" includes evidence of logos, ethos, and pathos to more effectively influence your audience. Evidence of the logos throughout the song is seen through rhetorical and historical examples in the lyrics. The use of ethos is evident throughout the text when considering the definition of situated ethos. The appeal of pathos is a big part of this music and is represented by Aristotle's three criteria for arousing emotion in an audience.

The appeal of the logo is finding the logic in something. The logos in the lyrics of this song are brought to light through rhetorical and historical examples. Rhetorical examples can be used to dig up audience memories or experiences. A good text to support this point is "Overseas, yes we are trying to stop terrorism but we still have terrorists living in America, the big CIA, the Bloods, the Crips and the KKK". I think people can relate to these lyrics here because of the problems our country has had with terrorism in the past. People have gone through this kind of mess and are stuck with memories they'd rather not have for the rest of their lives. The logic behind these lyrics is that we are trying to stop all the horrible terrorism that is happening in our country and even around the world, but no matter how hard we try, we cannot defeat them all. There will still be terrorists in our country, inherited from previous terrorists. Viewers who have experienced and gone through a monumental event in their lives can definitely relate to this logic more than someone who has no special connections. Another aspect of letter logos can be explained using historical examples. "A war is fought, but the cause is covered up" is an example of a historical example in the lyrics of this song. Our war in Iraq is now discussed in these texts with logos because it gets people to really think about why we went there in the first place and why we are still there now. While these lyrics provide evidence of logos, the song also contains evidence of ethos.

Ethos is known as the song's credibility and the extent to which the audience believes what the song is trying to say. Ethos predominates in this song, largely through the use of situated ethos. Situated ethos is defined as previously established stereotypes or people's reputations. In this music the situated ethos appears at certain points. Someone might be related to the lyrics, "most of us only care about making money, selfishness made us go in the wrong direction." This simply describes the stereotype that most people only care about money and material things instead of giving them to others. The United States in particular has such a reputation around the world. The stereotype that we're all greedy, materialistic, selfish people who only care about what gets us on top, even if it means tearing others down along the way. Some stereotypes in our culture can be harmful to children who are easily influenced by the media. "Children infect young minds faster than bacteria, children want to behave like they see in the movies" is the perfect quote to underscore this point. Children are the easiest to influence and the media knows this and uses it to their advantage. The Black Eyed Peas use this to convey that all those negative headlines and images that kids see on TV, in magazines, and on the internet affect the way kids see and think about themselves. This can really distress these children as they get older and harm them later. While there is a lot of ethos throughout the song, pathos is the most used of the three.

Pathos is all about emotions and how a person feels when listening to this music. The appeal of pathos in music is most common and can be demonstrated using Aristotle's three criteria for stimulating audience emotions. This song does a great job of bringing out the audience's emotions and making them feel really connected in one way or another. After carefully reading the lyrics, I realized that this song makes people feel like they care and want to make a difference. This follows our class discussion on civic engagement and only further supports this idea. I know I felt like I wanted to help the world in some way after listening to this song over and over again. We hear horrible things on the news every day and think there's nothing we can do about it, but this song somehow stirs the audience's emotions to try and make a difference. "Can you practice what you preach and turn the other cheek?" is to ask someone if they see all these terrible events, will they really forget them and not do anything about it? The three criteria that Aristotle mentions in the book are understanding the audience's state of mind that can trigger those emotions and understanding the reasons people get emotional. A good quote to analyze for this purpose would be at the beginning of the chorus when it says "Kill people, people die, hurt children and you hear them cry". I think the kind of people this would affect the most would be parents or father figures because the idea of ​​children in every situation, as the song suggests, is just unimaginable. That would be understanding of public opinion and what might upset them at the thought of their child in such a situation. The reason people get emotional during this part of the song is self-explanatory as it's about hurting innocent children. No one likes to hear about children getting hurt or killed, but it's happening all over the world, which brings us back to the civic engagement part. Later in the song he says, "Nations dropping bombs, chemical fumes filling the lungs of the little ones," which is basically another way of attracting the audience and making them want to make a difference. Logos, ethos, and pathos all work together in the end to get the right audience response.

In general, this music contains much of all three: logos, ethos and pathos; Pathos probably more than the other two. All three concepts work together to grab the audience's attention and make them feel like they can do something to help the situations the Black Eyed Peas are singing about. With logic, believability and emotion, this song managed to catch the attention of many people around the world after entering the top 10 hit list. Music is a very important part of people's lives. It's always been something that makes people feel some kind of emotion when listening to music, and lyrics play a big part in that too. I think this song did a great job in each of the areas of logos, ethos and pathos and is sure to be a memorable song for years to come. I hope more people hear it and realize that things can be achieved when people work together. After all, "we only have one world".

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