Rhetorical Devices In Blackfish

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In her documentary, Blackfish, to the general public, filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite brings awareness to the tragedies of SeaWorld’s captivity of orca whales. In a world where the capitalization of animals is normalized, Cowperthwaite presents the horrors of this. Through the use of imagery, anaphoras, and propaganda, she transforms the audience’s thinking. One of the most used rhetorical devices in Blackfish is imagery. In describing the conditions the orcas were subjected to, a man recalls how they found Tilikum covered in rakes and blood each morning from the other animals. Another example of imagery in the documentary is when a man died at SeaWorld, “…there was Tilikum with a dead guy, a dead naked guy on his back, kind of parading him around the back pool…Tilikum stripped him, bit off his genitals. There were bite marks all over his body.” These gruesome illustrations drive home the point that keeping animals in captivity can be harmful to them and humans. These examples use the rhetorical strategy of pathos, appealing to the emotions of sympathy and fear. …show more content…

A former trainer of Tilikum explains his thoughts on why the orca acts out violently, “…you understand that he's killing, not to be a savage. He's not killing because he's just crazy. He's not killing because he doesn't know what he's doing. He's killing because he's frustrated, and he's got aggravations, and he has no outlet for it.” The use of anaphoras is also seen when celebrity and talk show host, Whoopi Goldberg, speaks on the awful events, “These are wild animals and they are unpredictable because we don't speak whale. We don't speak whale. We don't speak tiger. We don't speak monkey.” By repeating the start of a phrase, it emphasizes the importance of understanding that humans can’t control wild animals. Through these quotes, ethos is used because the trainer is directly tied to the situation and Goldberg is

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