Essay Sample Comprising the Blackfish Rhetorical Analysis

Published: 2022-05-22
Essay Sample Comprising the Blackfish Rhetorical Analysis
Essay type:  Rhetorical analysis essays
Categories:  Movie
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 932 words
8 min read

Blackfish is a documentary produced in 2013 that stands tall five years after its release and today it still mangles heartstrings by providing in-depth into miserable lives that captive orcas live. Gabriela Cowperthwaite is the director of the movie. The Blackfish film targets an audience the general public with emphasis mostly on the Sea world customers. The film informs the viewers about the inhumane and also the unlivable conditions at amusement parks for the whales such as the SeaWorld. Despite the fact that today in the world the wild and killer whales get regarded as majestic and giants that are friendly they have the ability and capacity to end life viciously. The film firmly holds that orcas should not at any time be kept in captivity and also highlights that the appalling treatment towards the killer whales is not just a danger to animals but also humans who work with them. The paper illustrates the rhetorical analysis of the Blackfish film in ethos, logos, and pathos.

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The film creates an intrinsic ethos that is effective through the way in which the information in the documentary gets presented. To begin with the first instance, the director does not just launch vicious attacks towards the SeaWorld instead she makes use of real news and reports and goes back in history to effectively present the same. The view into the past ensures that the audience will be able to see the issue as old news and also indicate that the SeaWorld outwardly is putting its employees as well as the animals in danger in spite of their previous knowledge (Nijhof, 2013). The illustration of SeaWorld performances through the use of the real news footages and the reports that show the violent incidents in the scenes gives the film credibility because it indicates the legitimacy in the presentation of the stories that in the way get to be retold in the documentary. However, Blackfish does an awful job in the creation of effective ethos which is as a result of the alternative points of view that get treated in the documentary. The critical part that shows effective intrinsic ethos occurs through courtesy and demonstration of fairness to the alternative views of the SeaWorld. The film is against the SeaWorld actions, and therefore the company gets depicted as an antagonist and what they inform the public in his respect seen as lies.

The second, Pathos. In Blackfish as illustrated in the d=stories of the former trainers in the SeaWorld, the reports and also footage of vicious attacks by the whales and subsequently the voice recordings in 9-1-1 that get associated to Dawn Brancheau's death. The personal narrations and heartbreaking stories by the former employees of SeaWorld allow the audience to connect emotionally and they pull the audience's heartstrings (pierce, 2015). The documentary gets to cover care for animals as well as their living space. In the film, the whales' fight with each other and the director is keen to show the scenes of the cuts and scratches to appeal to the audience. The living spaces given the size of whales as shown in the film are not acceptable, and this is like torture. The director interviews people that were part of the audience when the occurrence of the stress and attack on the trainers by the whales ensue. The illustration is an important example of emotional appeal creation in the film as it allows the audience and viewers to empathize with the innocent individuals caught up in the incidents. Lastly, the 9-1-1 call is very critical in the film and exposes the frantic voices that ensue during Dawn's attack, and that particular instance captures the attention of the audience.

The impact of the appeal by the director to pathos on the viewer shows that the negatives illustrated in the film outweigh the positives. Therefore, the orca should not get held in captivity. The consequences as a result of the captivity bring suffering, sadness and even the loss of life for both the captured and also captures. In this regard, no human or animal would like to get such kind of treatment by having their life discerned at a such an early stage.

Lastly, logos. The film makes logic to proclaim that the orca is an intellectual being that is aware of the human interactions and the surroundings. Blackfish uses the claim to make the argument that the orcas are in captivity in the SeaWorld and that it is suffering mentally and does not belong in the SeaWorld (pierce, 2015). The documentary efficiently uses reasoning to support its assertions that the Limbic system of the orca is more complex than in the case of the human beings. The researchers cannot explain the animals' depths understanding which is partly because we cannot relate to the whale's brain structure. Blackfish provides a foundation to support its claims with the fact that scientists prove them to be conscious of feelings via MRI's and human-like relationships.

In conclusion, the rhetorical effectiveness of Blackfish. The documentary can graphically showcase the emotional as well the physical trauma that whales endure. The film conclusively shows that the whales should not undergo punishments for their retaliation or even attacks. The whales get captured; therefore, humans have a responsibility for their psychosis. The analysis makes it open that the whales should be left free in the wild which is apparent to the audience who exhibit strong visual and emotional rhetoric by Blackfish.



Pierce, A. (2015). SeaWorld and the Blackfish: The Lack of Two-Way Symmetrical Communication and Finding the Correct Message.

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