Rhetorical Analysis ENGL 102-07October 03, 2012 A Rhetorical Analysis of Editorial, “The Effects of Violence in Children’s Cartoons” Claim: That children’s cartoons today are too violent and that these cartoons are greatly affecting their behaviors growing up. That violence is a learned behavior and therefore children that view violence can become violent themselves. The purpose of the argument is to raise the awareness about cartoon violence and come up with some solutions to lessen its negative impact on the children that are watching them.
The primary target audiences of this argument are those that have the most direct contact with children, mainly their parents and teachers. Faced with the increasing popularity of animation, they feel that youngsters are developing a cartoon mentality, confusing fantasy and reality, and are imitating the actions they see on the screen. The author feels very strongly about the message he is trying to make and uses emotional, logical, and ethical triggers throughout the article to make his point and bring the reader over to his idea. “this is a big dilemma because the media is promoting violence as an acceptable solution for children who may not know any better. ”] (PATHOS) This statement seems to be an attempt to shock the audience to the idea that there is purposeful plot by the media to teach children that violence is an acceptable way to act. [“If a child is growing up in a home where Dad is beating up Mom all the time, the child is going to learn that hitting is an acceptable way to handle problems.
This child is much more likely than other children to grow up to handle problems the same way and become a violent adult himself. The same can be said for cartoon violence. ”] (PATHOS) The reader is given a comparison between witnessing domestic violence and cartoon violence. The author makes the argument that both will lead to a child becoming a violent adult. [“We cannot deny that children’s violence has increase drastically in recent years. With things such as school shootings, bullying, daredevil stunts, peer to peer violence, and children killing parents we as a society need to be alarmed. ] (PATHOS) By using terms like “shooting” and “killing parents” the author is hoping to connect with the audience’s fear that cartoon violence could lead to drastic results. [“TV has even become known as “America’s baby-sitter. ” (Krieg). Meaning that parents are now using the television as a way of entertaining their children while they attempt to accomplish other things such as cooking and cleaning. ”] (PATHOS) This statement tries to prompt a sense of guilt in the audience that they are are just sitting their kids in front of the television instead of being attentive parents. “On average and American child will watch 32 acts of violence per hour on TV. This number has skyrocketed from 20 years ago when it was just 12 acts per hour (Krieg). This being said a child will have watched anywhere from 8,000 to 100,000 acts of violence before they even finish elementary school (Weiss). ”] (LOGOS) This seems a logical premise to help substantiate the authors point and uses a research example as evidence. [“It was found in one study that what a children watches on TV at age 8 will be one of the best predictors of how aggressive they will be as an adult.
The children’s TV viewing outweighed other factors such as child-rearing practices and socioeconomic factors (Grace). Grace also found that what a child watches after age 8 is not nearly as important as what they watch before age 8. ”] (LOGOS) Again, this seems logical and uses a study to show evidence. [“We can start by creating a better rating system that gives parents more information about what the shows content is. This could be similar to the more recent movie ratings (Gardner).
DIC is the largest supplier of children’s programming and they have come up with a 12- point code for the makers of these children’s shows to decrease the violence (Weiss). ”] (LOGOS) The author evokes some possible solutions to that may help resolve some of the problem with identifying violent cartoons. [“We have now seen all the facts on both sides of the argument. Is should be clear that we are faced with a very devastating problem. Our only hope is that we can do enough so that this next generation of children is not so violent.
Maybe one day we can come to the point where children are so used to watching wholesome quality television that these violent shows will die out. ”] (ETHOS) We do not know who the author is here. Is it a parent, teacher, or maybe a psychologist? The use “we” and “our only hope” seem to play on the conscience of the reader that we are all in this together, and together we can find a solution to cartoon violence. The author cites numerous reasons to prove and validate his point, such as the increase in violent acts per hour on television, and percentage of teachers that have reported increases in classroom violence.
However, there is no evidence given that ties cartoon violence directly with this. It seems most of the article is the authors interpretation of the topic. He even goes as far as to say that those that disagree with his point are absurd. Is it possible that children become violent from what they see in cartoons? Maybe. But all cartoons are not the same. I think it is ignored that many cartoons also teach children important social and cultural lessons on such as honesty, kindness, and sharing.