Rhetorical Analysis: Thank You for Smoking
Becoming more and more prevalent in the American media are anti-smoking and anti-tobacco advertisements. These advertisements attempt to warn the viewers of the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes. This is understandably inconvenient for big-time tobacco companies, who profit from cigarette smokers’ addictions. These companies often hire hot shot lobbyists to attempt to publicly protect their product. There is and intended audience with in the movie and to the viewers outside the movie. Within the movie, they are targeting younger generations, while outside the movie the audience could be anyone but more specifically smokers and tobacco companies. Jason Reitman’s dark comedy Thank You for Smoking, Aaron Eckhart plays Nick Naylor, a lobbyist for Big Tobacco who uses rhetorical appeals to defend cigarette companies against Senator Finistirre’s crusade to place a “poison” skull and crossbones sticker on all boxes of cigarettes. Throughout the film, Naylor, Finistirre, and other minor characters provide countless examples of logos, pathos, and ethos in their persistent debate over the controversial issue of tobacco use in today’s American society. Nick Naylor’s uses of logos as a rhetorical device is obvious from the beginning of the film’s opening scene. While on a televised talk show, Naylor demonstrates logical thought in answering questions about a teenage boy sick with cancer. When an audience member says that tobacco companies don’t care that their products can kill teenagers, Naylor responds that it is in the company’s best interest to keep the boy alive, because he is a customer and the company loses business if the boy dies. While certainly callous and cold-hearted, Naylor’s claim clearly demonstrates a logical thought process. The use of logos appears again most prevalently in the closing scene of the film, when Nick Naylor testifies in front of Senator Finistirre’s Congressial hearing on the proposed warning...
Cited: "Thank You For Smoking Quotes." 2005. IMDb. 21 September 2013. .
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