Rhetorical Analysis of Walter White

Topics: Breaking Bad, Methamphetamine, Vince Gilligan Pages: 3 (1108 words) Published: February 21, 2013
Nick L’Italien
Ms. McClain
English 123
January 29, 2013
A Split Personality – Morals Against Corruption

With reality shows taking over airtime nowadays, psychological thrillers in television are a rare genre. Admittedly, it can be a tasking genre to develop a show around, but Vince Gilligan has managed to create, quite possibly one of the greatest shows ever, Breaking Bad. In the pilot episode, the audience was introduced to Walter White, a middle-aged high school Chemistry teacher. He sounds like an average, typical man, but he was introduced in the most peculiar way. Gilligan opened this award-winning show with Walter, underwear-clad, holding a pistol, next to a crashed R.V. in the middle of the desert. The audience questioned this of course. How is this man in such a bizarre situation? What’s even going on? Although the opening was abnormal and confusing at first, Gilligan effectively developed Walter’s character throughout the series, as well as his alter ego known as Heisenberg, using an engrossing story, excellent character development, and the appeal of pathos.

As the pilot progresses, Walter learns that he has developed inoperable lung cancer, an enormous bombshell for a first episode. Walter’s cancer not only brings him health struggles, but also entails financial issues for his whole family, a thought that was at the forefront of his mind throughout the entire series. Worried for his family’s financial security if he were to pass, Walter struggled to come up with a solution to secure their future. Through a series of (un)fortunate events, he discovered the profitable market of methamphetamine production, better known as cooking crystal meth. With a proficient knowledge of the chemistry behind the production of meth, he partners up with one of his former burnout students, Jesse Pinkman. As the series progresses, Jesse and Walter’s antics in the drug market began to take an apparent toll on Walter’s psychological health. Once the duo has...
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