Critique Of Rhetorical Analysis Of 'Who's The Rat?'

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Analysis of Douglas Rushkoff’s “Who’s the Rat?”
“Who’s the Rat?” is a cause and effect essay by Douglas Rushkoff. The essay speculates on the theory that people are drawn towards pain, suffering, or humiliation of others shown on television, specifically reality show programs. His main argument is that “We’re all the rats”. This meaning that everyone is the cause to the fascination concerning television programs today.
One way Rushkoff proves his argument is by using logos. He provides several references to studies and television shows in order to strengthen his argument. By doing this he directs his essay to a broader audience. From mentioning American Idol to situation comedies, Rushkoff provides his argument to a wide range of people.
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His use of diction provides a way to strengthen his argument and get his point across to the reader. He uses the repetition of words such as cruel and violent to further emphasize what television programs display to viewers. He uses anaphora when saying, “It might just be that cruel people find cruel TV shows to watch. And the more cruel we are, the more programming will be tailored at our wants” (2). The repetition of the word “cruel” helps to assert the idea that we, as a human society, are the cause of problems of television today. Whether it’s the people watching the shows or the people making the shows, they both have a role in cruelty found in programming. The quote, “So, for about 20 seconds we are brought up the inclined plane of increasing stakes- a pimple? fired from work? carpet stains? social anxiety?- and in the last 10 we must swallow whatever solution the sponsor dictates: a new cream, investment, solvent or pill” (2) is a way of supplying an image to the reader. It provides an image for the reader that conveys what television serves for society.
Conclusively, Douglas Rushkoff’s “Who’s the rat?” presents the argument that television viewers are entertained by other people’s pain, suffering and humiliation and everyone is at blame for this being true. He utilizes this by using logos, diction and other rhetorical devices which help to strengthen his
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