In the film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, the rhetorical analysis can be triangulated into three dimensions: credibility (ethos), emotional appeals (pathos), and organizational soundness (logo). First the facet of credibility (ethos). The imminent menace of global warming and climate change are encouraged in the film. The melting of polar ice caps, the ensuing storm flooding the town, leaves the community helpless. This cataclysm releases the marauding beasts, Aurochs. The director had the impact of climate change in Louisiana State in mind (Ruf, n.p). This can be related to the vagaries of nature that have pillaged the state, notably the hurricanes. Climate change is a hot button and a priority we should put at hand lest we are doomed. This also catches the eyes of the world on the Sea-level-rise especially in the state of Louisiana. All these are relatable to the contemporary world in light of climatic change and its effects on human life. The political aspect is relatable to this film. The bathtub is a world of alcoholism and even child abuse. Drinking binges by her father, partying and endless merrymaking with Winks' peers can be attributed to the liberalization of the search for pleasure in an equally free society. The choice here is presented as the norm, when Wink tells her kid, "You've got to fought for your right to party." This maps to our governance and state of democracies.
Remarkably, nature is presented as self-sustaining. Water is key in the plant and animal life; survival is entirely dependent on this resource. However, these are issues choking Louisianan, and the negative impact on the residents have been underlined by the movie, relating this to human life. Telling the story from the viewpoint of a six-year-old kid shows how defenseless and hopelessness human nature is on the face of disaster strikes. Hushpuppy's views nature as a powerful arch force that claims a human life. She learned this by how her father's death, the storm, floods, saltwater intrusion and loss of land. This violent perspective is changed when she begins to appreciate Mother Nature as a free-flowing entity with all components playing a part in this. The Aurochs, show two animals on the brink of extinction, with the survival of one depending on the death of the other. They change attitude when they notice that it's not about your survival, rather letting the other go on. This is relevant to the harmony in nature. When the residents at the "Bathtub" community sickened, friends took care of each other, and the community initiative was a self-sustaining one. The place of ties, (anter-human and extra-human) relations play a prime role in governing society (Ruf, n.p). This would be pertinent to the threat of extinction of endangered wildlife species and poaching.
The film is also relevant to the issue of feminism, the belief that all sexes are equal, and activism of what ladies feel that their priorities and rights are underplayed by male privilege. The argument gives shows how Hushpuppy struggles to live yet emerges victorious in a world where the decks are stacked against her. In the frantic efforts to save the bathtub from flooding, the residents want to blow up a levee yet they remain cold. Hushpuppy audacious and undeterred instigates the blast. Wink refers to her daughter using male-gendered words, such as "king" and "man." This is again compounded by the absence of the mother putting Hushpuppy as the only female. This shapes the perception that the male gender is the superior and perfect for the titles above. She is presented a wonder kid, her heroic attributes, and noble nature. "Her smile was a charm that moved fish out of the water and a scowl fierce to stop monsters on their tracks." The savages, Aurochs acknowledge her as a ferocious beast, respect her. This goes handily in realizing this as an aspect of our society by recognition of the contribution of women.
Next is emotional appeals (pathos). The director, Behn Zeitlin cultivates symbolism as a tool of the narration to exemplify a thematic concern human development and essence of human emotions. Human experience is illustrated in black and white by the involvement of cryptical beats, the marginalized social minority group and the setting in the universe. Hushpuppy, the protagonist, is discreetly trying to conceal not only her emotions but also her inherent aptitude. Despite this, she still goes ahead to appreciate the correlation between emotions and human nature in the course of the movie. The mythical creatures draw attention to the film, the beasts. Hushpuppy enrolls to an improvised school, and her teacher familiarizes her with the Aurochs, beasts that roam in the lands before the ancestors domesticated them. The beasts herein and their undertakings, exchanges with the human aspects are employed to paint a fantastic picture. This instance is emotive since the mythical world intervenes in human life, with a character we identify with. This goes a mile in capturing our emotions of thrilling horror and monstrosity (Zeitlin, n.p). The impact of the storm takes a heavy toll on the community. Salt water is polluting the freshwater sources, the wildlife is also hard-hit by this catastrophe, and they are killed. The environment is now useless. As fate would have it, the government comes to their help, by offering them relocation. Residents of the Bathtub, reject the lending hand together with Hushpuppy, and Wink, her father in fear of losing their homes. Emotions of fear and loyalty for Hushpuppy to her family (she opts to stay so that the place serves as a reminder of her missing mom and deceased dad.)
The Aurochs foreshadow the death of the protagonist's father as they tend towards her. A case in point is the scenario whereby Hushpuppy tries to narrate about the "broken things." She strikes out the extent of irreparable damage on the things. The beasts are seen through towns and "breaking" them. She is subconsciously foreshadowing her daddy's debilitating health, now beyond redemption. Certainly, her father dies. The aftermath of Hushpuppy father's death is also cited in the action of the beasts. The beast seems empathetic to Hushpuppy's struggle, an event that reaches its high point when the beasts parade facing down Hushpuppy. The physique of the beasts is typified as behemoths and ugly-looking creatures. Here emotions come to play since the act epitomizes the solitude and loneliness that will strike the protagonist after she is bereft of her father. Here we connect with Hushpuppy's great worries and fears. A shift of Hushpuppy's outlook is also achieved - from what was once a "wild" human, in the set in the ambiance of the anonymities and oddities of the beast such as the act of beasts devouring their kids after birth at the beginning of the film to a now crying and worried kid. Her eyes carry this message, true to the maxim: "the eyes are the window to the soul." Human emotions and feelings are shown when the people in the "bathtub" are taken for medication, as the film draws to an end (Zeitlin, n.p). The medical center is seen as luminous and hopeful vis-a-vis the "bathtub" that was shown as human-made. Remarkably, the director underscores the fact that emotions are an exclusive attribute associated with just human beings and not technology and advancement in medicine.
Last is the aspect of organizational soundness (logos). Noteworthy, human life is intertwined with the environment. When Wink, Hushpuppy's father was afflicted by a heart attack, the world forming they're surrounding began crumbling. Alongside the frail health, are the scenes of glaciers crashing, storm waged on the land. The sound effects are a crucial cog in the cinema and stage effect. The background music, blended with natural sounds akin to the heartbeat connect the human realms to nature. In the same vein, there are "freeze frame" shots taken from nature. All these work in unison to underscore the unity with nature. From the vantage point of the isolated humans in the "bathtub," audiences can see the story from the angle of Hushpuppy (Zeitlin, n.p). The perspective is coached to focus onto her and close off other voices, making her the primary object in the shots. The viewer's here understand by meeting her feelings, also bolstering on the validity of the film. The senior audience can gauge the kid's world-its feelings and tastes of life. To illustrate, a scene is depicted where the mother figure is at the end, the director, however, zeroes in what Hushpuppy is doing. The small town in Louisiana "bathtub" and people therein are shown as in the adjacent side of the levee, the embankment that separates the two groups.
Notably, at the end of the film, a transition, and a changeover to new emotions. At first, the homes were filled with trash, and things are presented to look nasty and offensive. They toyed with fireworks, and the whole community was carefree, hectic, and wild. On the contrary, they are now careful and cautious after lessons learned. The fire is now a totem and symbolized in the human life. As such, they exercise restraint when using it. Beast of the Southern Wild, is a riveting film, employing elements of narration and cinematic effects and strategies to reinstate the significance of emotion. They are blended in reasonable quantities, and the audience relates to the happenings in the film. A plot punctuated by mythical characters, where the film best plays as a myth, its built upon intrinsic mythology. The actors a drawn from a cast of both people of color and white actors, playing different roles shows the similarity of the human race.
Ruf, Frederick. "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Journal of Religion and Film 17.1 (2013).
Zeitlin, Benh, et al. Beasts of the Southern Wild. Los Angeles: Fox Searchlight, 2012.
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