Meme Rhetorical Analysis Example

Published: 2024-01-08
Meme Rhetorical Analysis Example
Essay type:  Analytical essays
Categories:  Culture Internet Media
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1675 words
14 min read


Richard Dawkins initially described the Success Kid in the book The Selfish Gene a Greek word mimeme that means “to imitate” in the year 2007. It is a meme showing a baby (Sammy Griner) holding a bunch full of sand with a resolute facial appearance. The imitation's superiority is essential to memes' incidence since when there is no notion of representation, a meme would not exist. The Success Kid has manifested its significance in that the analysis places a minimum consideration on replication. The meme has obtained fame for its capability to duplicate and its productive usage of artistic structures. The structures include (the chronotype, carnivalesque, and Mikhail Bakhtin’s heteroglossia to incorporate an image to develop discourse (Mika et al., p854-866) to the meme's popularity, CNN described the baby in the photo as the most famous internet child.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Reflection on the Society, Media, or Culture

Memes can have a positive and negative impression. Meme culture is a worldwide phenomenon. For the culture, memes are purely for fun; however, the current society has used them to express criticism to other people. The media uses memes as a method of making fun. A person will wake up in the morning and browse through their phones to check memes.

Suggestions for the Topic

The meme suggests that workers are usually happy when they arrive to work late before their boss because the image says that the worker is late for work, but the boss is late. The image is of a child with a fisted hand. It reinforces the message of excitement or victory, which relates to several workers. Additionally, there seemed to be missing information about the topic. It is unknown why the child had such an expression and why he was pumping his fist. The meme always has two sides; however, in this meme, only one side is seen. The Success Kid suggests a specialist in the correct situation of lateness.

Rhetorical Appeals

Heteroglossia describes the dissemination of language and its capability to vary while interacting with various speech genres and its explanation to people. The term might be defined as multiple voices, designs of speech, and perspectives in a fictional work (Mancing & Howard p1). The meme utilizes different linguistic structures such s oratorical, professional, and synaptic forms that jointly incorporate to develop a new language for Bakhtin. It makes internet memes appealing since their linguistic advance is always varying, yet it frequently show main themes. The social language is illustrated through abstract and popular concepts. Using humor is not rare in literature; however, the incomplete and choppy usage of words is not expected in fictional forms. In the picture, the Success Kid says, "Late to work/Boss was even later" which shows a bad condition turning to an optimistic one. The combination of vague language and humor has been a repetitive theme between memes. Bakhtin asserts that “it might create new socially symbolizing dialects” (Gal et al., p1698-1714). As people read this and translate the meaning by themselves, modern memes are formed with new humor yet with the same type of choppy dialect that frequently makes a meme its language.

The meme joints several dialects together to form an approach, just like the Success Kid's representation. The picture is that of a baby, but the toddler is hand-pumping. The viewers might distinguish the exceptional mixture of mature and childish accredits of the image since babies do not regularly hand pump. The negation of both features in the picture develops new visual dialects by integrating two contrasting personalities.

The representation of the meme offers extra perplexing the integration of space and time by using a baby. It is mystifying to use a toddler to represent adult topics like being late to work. The childish image allows the audience to detach themselves from the intellect of time since toddlers do not work. As the audience extracts their reminiscences "at the workplace," toddlers do not spring to mind. Therefore, the meme appears extra perpetual since it is difficult to impute an age to the meme people and author late to work, particularly by disputing this with the child's image. Additionally, correspondence of lateness to a workplace gives the audience a space to acknowledge that the same child will one day be late while going to work and might decide to do the same as the meme writer illustrates.

As the internet's nature of recurring memes is significant in being theoretically intact, a person must look at the meme's aim. Despite the notion that it is not a considerable segment, the carnivalesque contributes a superior perception to the above meme. Bakhtin suggests that “a person can say carnival commemorated momentary liberation from an established order and prevailing truth” (Waddock & Sandra p259-273). The Success Kid image distinguishes hierarchal blockages for a free gathering of individuals. At work, submit a hierarchical order since the boss has more authority than the workers; thus, when the boss and worker are late, they are both temporarily eliminated from their various hierarchal structures and then situated in the same place for making a similar mistake. The worker's liberation from punishment utilizes the carnival due to their delay and destabilizing orders by violating the same error as the boss (Nissenbaum et al., p483-501). The meme situation makes the worker cooler compared to their boss, and that destroys the professional hierarchy.

The picture shows the carnivalesque clearly as it integrates the body, the main feature of the literary trope. The image in the carnivalesque is enormously positive but not individualistic. The meme apprehends the parts since the hand pump symbolizes enormous excitement and is not a deed only exceptional to the successful child. The audience might question the actual emotions behind the Success Kid face appearance since the child meme can express the excitement of frustration (Waddock & Sandra p259-273). This is how carnivalesque is productively illustrated by using main body images and mystifying them in the child's facial expression, making it exceptional.

The Success Kid picture uses the theme of lateness in that everyone has ever been late to work or might be late in the near future, which is relatable in people's lives. Hence, the meme's topic concludes immortal since it relates to the work submitted, such as the firm or workplace. Each participatory nature of the image allows a space to be filled for complete affirmation and comprehension of the humor in the picture. With a lack of immortal thought of the picture, space could not be open for the audience to relate to the image. Consequently, space and time are inseparable and, therefore, an entirety (Waddock & Sandra p259-273)


The audience for the meme is the works of a firm. It shows how they relate with their boss at the workplace. Additionally, it focuses on the college individuals.

The meme should change the idea of using a child to illustrate the workplace since children do not work. Extra information should be added to the audience that the image represented a joke about a late worker and the boss being late. It does not demonstrate disrespect but excitement. The design should be that of an adult for clear understanding to avoid misinterpretation, and if chosen to be that of children, it has to be something exciting and funny. For revision to be done, the image will change since it will lose its original meaning.

Generally, the Success Kid picture orders a professional in the actual situation of lateness. The capacity to replicate language and provide a themed stage essential to all people. It could not have been believable without heteroglossia, chronotype, and, and carnivalesque usage. Using these tropes for the Success Kid picture relays its message, and the outcome of this productive conversation might continue forming the development of comparable and new images.

Works Cited

Mika, Carl Te Hira, and Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai. "Tawhiao’s unstated heteroglossia: Conversations with Bakhtin." Educational Philosophy and Theory 49.9 (2017): 854-866.


Gal, Noam, Limor Shifman, and Zohar Kampf. "“It Gets Better”: Internet memes and the construction of collective identity." New media & society 18.8 (2016): 1698-1714.


Mancing, Howard. "Bakhtin’s Theory of the Novel." Mikhail Bakhtin’s Heritage in Literature, Arts, and Psychology: Art and Answerability (2018): 1.

Rothoni, Anastasia. "Peer-Group Membership and Youth Identities in “Translocal” Activity Spaces." Teenagers’ Everyday Literacy Practices in English. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2019. 143-179. Https://Scholar.Google.Com/Scholar?Hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&as_ylo=2015&as_yhi=2020&q=Rothoni%2C+Anastasia.+%22Peer Group+Membership+and+Youth+Identities+in+%E2%80%9CTranslocal%E2%80%9D+Activity+Spaces.%22+Teenagers%E2%80%99+Everyday+Literacy+Practices+in+English.+Palgrave+Macmillan%2C+Cham%2C+2019.+143-179.&btnG=.

Waddock, Sandra. "Reflections: Intellectual shamans, sensemaking, and memes in large system change." Journal of Change Management 15.4 (2015): 259-273. Https://Scholar.Google.Com/Scholar?Hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&as_ylo=2015&as_yhi=2020&q=Waddock%2C+Sandra.+%22Reflections%3A+Intellectual+shamans%2C+sensemaking%2C+and+memes+in+large+system+change.%22+Journal+of+Change+Management+15.4+%282015%29%3A+259-273.&btnG=.

Nissenbaum, Asaf, and Limor Shifman. "Internet memes as contested cultural capital: The case of 4chan’s/b/board." New Media & Society 19.4 (2017): 483-501. Https://Scholar.Google.Com/Scholar?Hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=iNissenbaum%2C+Asaf%2C+and+Limor+Shifman.+%22Internet+memes+as+contested+cultural+capital%3A+The+case+of+4chan%E2%80%99s%2Fb%2Fboard.%22+New+Media+%26+Society+19.4+%282017%29%3A+483-501.&btnG=.

Cite this page

Meme Rhetorical Analysis Example. (2024, Jan 08). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism