This article was written as a way to describe and analyze how a form of media, in this case a magazine article, utilizes rhetoric to present an idea to a reader. This is a short clip from a larger piece of work written for an Eastern Michigan Rhetoric Class.
Sly as a Fox
Fresh Matters magazine features several types of articles such as providing clean water to impoverished countries, informing on supporting local communities who provide natural ecosystem farming, creating awareness on Non-GMO’s and animal testing. Lush, a Canadian based organic company whom creates and distribute Fresh Matters magazine features its products as “cruelty free” (non-animal tested), organic and safe. Lesley Fox is the author of “Fighting the Fur Trade,” an article within Fresh Matters, describing the large amount of animals killed for their fur pelts each year (Fox 21-25). It details the environmental conditions that fur trade animals live in, the history and the reason behind the organization of The Association for the Protection of Fur-bearing Animals. Fox’s article aims towards audiences who buy Lush’s products and to members of The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals in an attempt to create awareness on the facts of the fur trade. When first reading Fox’s article a reader may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information Fox provides. Fox’s writing delivers a devastating picture of animal cruelty and the negative tendency of human nature that provide the framework for fur farming to exist. However, this view of Fox’s article is only achieved through rhetorical strategies. How does Fox involve rhetorical strategies within her article? Why might this motivate the reader to take action and to feel compassionate about animals?
In order to understand how rhetoric works within Lesley’s article it is important to understand what rhetoric is. Reading and writing involves a purpose that persuades the reader or listener to understand a specific point of view. Through arrangement and style it can impress its audience so that the audience believes in its message. The use of rhetoric within reading and writing, can be objective or informative without being overly inflated (although often it is) to influence its reader. There is a system within speech, reading and writing, where rhetoric can be utilized to create or deliver a certain message. It is a process through which artistic or creative ability is exerted. For someone to use rhetoric in writing or speech, they have to be able to understand and see all the available means of persuasion and use it accordingly.
Within rhetoric, there are processes by which a rhetor delivers a message and this is through the occasion. The occasion in rhetoric refers to the external motivation in writing or speaking. Three specifics of areas of occasion include deliberative, judicial, and epideictic. Aristotle states that these areas of rhetoric are highly logical. Deliberative rhetoric persuades its audience to take some sort of action. This typically tells a reader what will or can happen in the future. The audience for this type of rhetoric tends to be political, though it can appeal to anyone who is interested in the future of political matters. Judicial or Forensic rhetoric focuses on using evidence or argument based on the past to demonstrate meaning to an audience. This type of rhetoric or an example of this can be seen from the litigation done within a courtroom. Epideictic rhetoric concerned with the present and it is a way to display or praise a situation to an audience. Lesley utilizes deliberative rhetoric within her argument because she calls the audience to action in taking a stand against fur-farming. Audiences know through statements of request, usually an action such as “join” to commit to her cause.
Fox, Leslie. “Fighting the Fur Trade.” Fresh Matters