The Direct and Indirect Impact of Rhetoric

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The Direct and Indirect Impact of Rhetoric

Emory Lott
12/05/96
English 1001

In the world that we live in, rhetoric always affects and is a part of everything that happens. Rhetoric, in its broadest sense, is communication, and how people relate to each other. The movie The Color Purple is about relationships. Therefore rhetoric plays a very important role in this movie. Throughout The Color Purple the impact of rhetoric can be seen in two groups of people, the communicator, or rhetor, and the audience. Celie, the main character of the movie, shows the impact of rhetoric in almost every aspect of her life. The effects of rhetoric in Celie's life are apparent through her relationships with Mr. Johnson, Shug Avery, and Sofia.

The relationship that Celie has with Mr. Johnson is unbalanced from the first time they meet. Celie's complacent and gentle nature leave her at the mercy of Albert Johnson's more dominant attitude. The rhetoric that she expresses to him, of innocence and always complying to his orders, forces her to live a large portion of her life sheltered and overshadowed by Albert, who continuously beats her into submission. Celie also passes on what she learned from "Mister" to his son Harpo, the rhetoric of "the importance of a man giving his wife a good beating." Albert Johnson does not even realize how important Celie is to him until she is gone. At that point he returns some of the love that is shown to him by helping Nettie and her family to return to the United States in order to see Celie. This action shows the impact of Mr. Johnson's rhetoric on Celie by returning to her the first person that she ever loved. Both the rhetoric that Mr. Johnson exposes Celie to and the rhetoric that Celie reveals to Albert Johnson have a very important role in Celie's life in the movie The Color Purple.

Celie also shares a strong relationship with Shug Avery. Celie first meets Shug when she is drunk and has a very bad...
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