Rhetorical Analysis of a Propagandist’s Poster

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Rhetorical Analysis of a Propagandist’s Poster

The above poster portrays a puzzling and magical propagandist poster with the words that describe America as a place where God saves while Satan invests. The features of this poster do not resemble the popular posters of the 21st century; instead, they appear more like posters from the 19th century. The poster appears the same as those used by the Soviet Union in World War II due to its depiction of a hand holding a gun. The poster has unique features, boggling style, and the words contained in the poster are not easy to understand without conducting research. After encountering the poster, I felt the need to perform a rhetorical analysis of this exciting design alongside the text and reasons behind the author’s creation of this poster.

The author of this interesting poster was found out to be the graphic designer, Shepard Fairey, who also doubles up as an illustrator and political activist. Fairey developed the poster following several schools and mass shootings that took place across America. The author is a famous artist who is known for drawing political posters. The author is using the poster to address the issue of mass shootings to the entire American population. The author feels that something should be done to save the lives of innocent Americans, especially the children who did nothing to deserve death. Therefore, the audience of this poster is the general American population. In the political context of that time, the author was pressurized by the surrounding evils to design a poster to communicate to the public. The message of the poster has been analyzed to reflect the need for guns –use policies as a way of curbing the killing of innocent people witnessed throughout the States.

The choice of this poster as a form of communication media is facilitated by its ability to generate immediate visual representation on the minds of the readers. Posters that depict compelling images and text attracts the reader’s attention and ignites the desire to understand the message of the poster. Second, posters offer prolonged exposure to the readers, and it is because of this reason that the message is passed for as long as the poster is hanging. Third, posters have extensive coverage, and the information it is attempting to relay can as many potential audiences as possible. It is considered that posters positioned around high-traffic points where there is a high possibility of being noticed are the most effective. Finally, posters are relatively affordable to design and install as compared to other forms of communication media. The aspect of affordability makes posters effective for conducting a campaign targeting the members of the public.

The rhetorical purpose of this paper is to analyze and describe the message of the above poster and establish the way it impacts the audience. The analysis focuses on identifying the author and developing a means through which the message and the audience interact. Therefore, the projects involve incorporating the application of rhetorical tenets to examine the argument that the poster’s message is trying to portray. In essence, the rhetorical purpose of this paper is to describe how the argument of the text is developed and to consider if the approach employed is effective in passing the intended message.

The creation of this rhetorical analysis project changed my rhetorical approach of using Toulmin analysis to using the rhetorical triangle. The rhetorical triangle is the most effective for conducting a rhetorical analysis because of unlike Toulmin’s analysis, it has only three parts to evaluate and conclude the analysis. Toulmin analysis makes the process of analysis both tiresome and time-consuming since it has six parts to focus on for making analysis. Additionally, the rhetorical triangle is the most suitable and relevant for analysis posters in terms of image and text.

The images presented by the author and the choice of letters used are meant to enhance the effectiveness of the poster. The words of the text are capitalized, “AMERICA THE LAND WHERE GOD SAVES AND SATAN INVESTS IN ASSAULT WEAPONS AND HIGH CAPACITY MAGAZINES” to attract the attention of the reader. Similarly, the image showing part of a human hand holding an AK-47 gun implies the level of assault faced by the American people in the highlighted political era. The use of the image of a dove with a ring on its belly implies that the national values of love and peace are endangered. In most cases, a dove is used to represent the value of peace and love among many nationalities. The red color used as the background color of the poster is important in addressing the loss of innocent blood through the killing of people using dangerous weapons, especially the AK-47 gun.

The author’s use of elements plays a crucial role in furthering the rhetorical purpose of this paper. The use of critical elements such as images, color, and capitalization of the letters is considered both attractive and convincing to the reader. The unique choice et of words and images is fundamental in developing experience about the impact of warfare in the American states. Additionally, the author employs a religious analogy to portray the religious beliefs of the American people. It is important to note that every aspect of a poster, however small, plays a significant role in passing the message to the intended audience. The image and words depicted by the poster are not easy to understand hence creating the necessity to conduct more research to understand the message of the poster.

The decision to develop a rhetorical analysis of the above poster was effective as a way of developing personal speculations and subsequently understanding the message of the author by conducting more research about the poster. Additionally, the decision intended audience. Therefore, the project was beneficial in the exploration of different communication media that can be useful in passing information to a large group of acquisition of the in-depth knowledge o about the significance of posters as a communication medium.

Conclusively, people encounter several posters in their day-to-day activities, and many do not go beyond mere sight to understand the message that the poster is trying to pass across. However, it takes a lot of research and careful analysis to establish the message of the author. It is through the use of various aspects such as images, words, type of font, and colors that enables the author of a particular poster to pass a message. The in-depth analysis carried out in this project was crucial in developing a deep understanding of the poster and its message.

Work Cited

Fairey, Shepard. “GOD SAVES & SATAN INVESTS.” Obey Giant. N.p., 02 Apr. 2013. Web.12 Sept. 2014.

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