A Rhetorical Analysis Of Neil Postman's A Brave New World

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The Overuse of Television
Kameron G Loyd
BYU-Idaho
During an average week, how much television does the average child watch? Parents, educators, and concerned citizens alike would be appalled at the answer of 1,480 minutes (BLS American Time Use Survey, A.C. Nielsen Co.). They would also be revolted by the statistic that 54% of four to six year olds would rather spend time watching television instead of spending time with their fathers (BLS American Time Use Survey, A.C. Nielsen Co.). In 1984, Neil Postman saw how devastating television watching was becoming to the culture of America, and gave a speech to the literary community at the 1984 Frankfort Germany Book Fair entitled “Amusing Ourselves to Death” which deals directly with this monolithic issue. Although the speech and subsequent article, published in Et Cetra, were directed at the publishers, writers, illustrators, etc., all those who read this article can also benefit from Postman’s overarching desire to decrease the hours of mind-numbing television watching. Through his successful use of ethos, logos
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An example of this is “That all the world is a stage is hardly an unfamiliar thought. But that all the world is a TV situation comedy has come as quite a surprise—except to Aldous Huxley. We must, in any case, make no mistake about it. Television is not merely an entertainment medium. It is a philosophy of discourse, every bit as capable of altering a culture as was the printing press.” (p. 452) This helps the audience to see that just as described in A Brave New World American’s are allowing their everyday lives to become amusements that have no substance in reality. By using this and other examples, Postman helps the audience to see the logic of his argument because they are to see the truth for themselves based on their own experience and

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