Rhetoric and American Society Assignment

Rhetoric and American Society Assignment Words: 424

Dr. Amy Hall English 1113-032 17 November 2008 Selena Selena is a biography of a young Mexican- American pop star that was killed while at the top of her career. This film lets the viewer see how hard life is for people from minority groups to be successful in American. And it also shows how difficult it is to be a person in the spotlight in American society. Selena is a rag to riches story which gives many opportunities for pathos, ethos, and logos, to appear. The film makes the argument that Americans have dual expectations for Mexican- Americans.

Selena has many different rhetorical strategies throughout the movie; there are examples through the use of music and ideas. The movie starts with Selena at a large concert singing I Will Survive originally by Aretha Franklin. This portrays the strong character she will represent throughout the movie, and also foreshadows how big of a star Selena will become by the end of the movie. Near the very beginning of Selena’s career someone backstage at a show tells her that she must catch every individual rose that is thrown onto her stage because not catching an individual rose will be symbolic of her death either literally or death of her career.

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This is just the use of symbolism and also foreshadows that Selena will die during her career. The second scene of the movie is a flashback to when Selena’s father was young and had a band of his own “The Dinos”. His band was made up of all Mexican- Americans, but they sang American doo-wop music. The Dinos show up at a gig they are supposed to play when they meet the owner of the club, the club owner simply gives them a check for one hundred dollars and tells them thanks for their trouble but they will not be needed. This foreshadows the trouble that Selena will have as a Mexican- American singer in an American society.

Step 5: Write a rough draft evaluation of your film or television series. (3-4 typed pages, completed and ready to be discussed. ) Explain the film’s rhetorical strategies. Do not spend more than a short paragraph on plot summary (assume your reader has seen the show. ) What kind of argument does the film make about American society? Does the film speak to the intended audiences? Why? Does the film succeed in making its argument? Use examples from the film. Use quotations from outside sources to support your opinion. Come to class prepared for peer review.

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