Emmett Till Rhetorical Analysis

392 Words2 Pages
The Emmett Till documentaries had plenty of archival footage that shows the audience the horrific murder of Emmett Till. By using archival footage, the documentaries serve as rhetoric functions providing pathos for emotion appeal and logos to convince the audience. In The Untold Story of Emmett Till, I noticed there was a strong usage of applied specificity. One of the examples of applied specificity is Mamie Till talking about Emmett Till and while she speaks his baby pictures surface onscreen. The filmmaker showing this footage humanizes Emmett Till as more than a corpse. Although I didn’t know Emmett, I saw his pictures and wondered why the murderers would kill him so unjustly. Another example of applied specificity is the picture of Mamie Till crying over her son’s casket and her commentary. The image has appeared in the other three Emmett Till…show more content…
Along with applied specificity, the documentary contains iconic specificity. In the beginning of the documentary, there is footage of rural areas of the Jim Crow South. This provides physical resemblance to the reality the interviewees were discussing (Swender 4). Without the usage of iconic specificity, one may not understand what the interviewees are talking about. The footage helps create an illusion of what they experienced. Nelson’s The Emmett Till’s Murder is different from Beauchamp’s Emmett Till documentary (The Untold Story of Emmett Till) because it’s faster paced. However, Nelson’s documentary uses similar archival footage. The documentary has applied specificity footage (the showing of Emmett Till’s casket, which showcases the seriousness of his brutal murder). The documentary also has applied specificity. For example, shows Jim Crow South in a positive light. The clip plays a cheery tune, trying to emphasize that Jim Crow South wasn’t all that bad. Overall, the archival adds support to the filmmaker’s
Open Document