Rhetorical Analysis Of Green Day's 21 Guns

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“21 Guns” is a music video uploaded by the alternative/punk rock band, Green Day on October 9, 2009. Green Day has, historically, appealed to young rebellious teenagers. Past albums featured songs about corrupt government, disrespecting the establishment, and the volatile nature of youthful romance. However, in this song the speaker, Billie Joe Armstrong, uses the rhetorical strategies ethos, pathos, and logos to convince his audience that surrender can be blissful. Ethos is the strongest rhetorical strategy used by the speaker and the most subtle. Green Day has always been an icon of anti-authoritarian ideals. It is assumed by the speaker that the fans understand how important fighting the establishment is to the band. The speaker doesn’t have to address these ideas because this strong character, or ethos, is already embedded in the mind of the audience. “Lay down your arms; give up the fight,” is the first message from Green Day that promotes surrendering to the establishment. This idea is much more persuasive because…show more content…
The video opens with a solemn and distant couple sitting at opposite ends of a run down apartment. While slow guitar and melancholy music plays, police lights are shown through the apartment window. The speaker says, “Does it take your breath away and you feel yourself suffocating,” to expose the pain that non-conformity brings. Shortly after this, gunfire tears the room apart and the couple starts panicking. During this time of distress the speaker states, “Throw up your arms into the sky,” implying that surrendering to the situation is the only way out. The final chorus shows the couple after their surrender, kissing in the middle of the room and ignoring the chaotic rain of bullets around them. The speaker is telling the audience that, no matter how corrupt the outside is, fighting it is futile and
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