Rhetorical Analysis for "Who Killed the Electric Car?"

Topics: Electric vehicle, Renault, Automobile Pages: 4 (1354 words) Published: October 2, 2008
Small curls of a shiny, metallic looking substance float down onto a mountain of shreds. These shreds belong to cars-- the Honda EVs (electric vehicles), to be exact. In the thought-provoking documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car?, director Chris Paine looks into the birth, rise, and fall of the electric car. This 2006 documentary explores this issue in an almost story-like way, a suspenseful murder thriller. With twists and turns at every corner, it is hard to see who is the real killer. Chris Paine uses humor and sadness, real-life accounts, and hardcore statistics and clear sequential facts to guide his audience through the birth and downfall of the electric car, while raising awareness for these short-lived but feisty cars.
The story-teller (speaker), Chris Paine, studied both acting and film before he became a full-time director. He served as a producer on several movies, but Who Killed the Electric Car?, was his big break. Paine received numerous awards for his documentary. Also, the film was the third highest grossing documentary in 2006, and screened with the critically acclaimed An Inconvenient Truth in many markets. This establishes Chris Paine's ethos. Chris Paine targeted his film towards an audience who will support his viewpoint on electric cars--a group who is interested in world issues such as global warming, consumerism, and technology. Using this film as his medium, he rallies support for the electric car. His objective is to acquaint his audience with the electric car and to identify which factors lead to its downfall. Effectively using all three rhetorical strategies, ethos, pathos, and logos, Paine tells a convincing tale.

The film begins with a funeral. Weeping mourners give their eulogies to "a special friend, an idea." The funeral is held in the honor of the electric car. The funeral appeals to pathos, as a funeral is always solemn and sad; however, when the audience realizes that the weeping men and women in somber colored suits...
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