October 5

RCL #5: Rhetorical Analysis Essay Draft

  1. Introduction
    1. Television used as a rhetorical device in all kinds of ways
    2. Briefly go over “conventional” calls to civic action
    3. Discuss the importance of satire as a means to deliver a message in more “vapid” entertainment
      1. Mention more commonly-known satirical shows such as South Park, etc.
      2. Begin talk on Sonic Boom’s recent streak of self-referential humor regarding the franchise’s infamously divided fanbase.
    4. Specific episode, “The Biggest Fan”, arguably the biggest lampoon of this; features a character representative of the stereotypical Sonic fan interacting with the main characters.
  1. Thesis Statement:  
    1. Through its use of witty, satirical humor, the Sonic Boom writers are not only able to create a charming, 11-minute episode, but convey an underlying message towards its own fanbase, and fans in general.
  1. Contextual Information
    1. Episode opens with titular protagonist Sonic speaking at a community event
    2. Obsessed fan, “Mark the Tepir” asks Sonic for autograph afterwards, follows him to lunch
    3. Sonic initially does not catch on to Mark’s unusual attachment, accepts the latter’s offer to become his personal assistant.
    4. Mark purposely gets Sonic and co. into accidents so he can “nurse them back to health”; they are all stuck bedridden in body casts at Mark’s house.
    5. When the heroes attempt to escape, the casts come off, and it turns out that they were not actually injured.
    6. Sonic “defeats” Mark, fires him from personal assistant job.
  1. “Surface-Level” Satirical Elements
    1. Writers pull no punches when it comes to referencing the fanbase; most aspects fair game.
    2. Acknowledges that Sonic fans are infamous for constant fickleness and complaining.
      1. One point in the episode has Sonic himself mention that fans “criticize everything I do”.
      2. Scene in which Mark creates a painting of the protagonist, stating he still needs to color in the arms; reference to fan outcry when Sonic was redesigned for this show, had arms changed from tan to blue.
    3. Mark’s obsession with Sonic also allows for the illustration of the “darker side” of fandom.
      1. Shrine in his bedroom dedicated to Sonic.
      2. Even a reference to the “non-family-friendly” fanfiction written about the normally innocent franchise.
  1. Underlying, “Deeper” Message
    1. True, writers “roast” the series’ fanbase pretty hard in this episode, but they are NOT saying being a fan makes one bad.
    2. A subtle way of conveying this comes in the fact that Mark did not actually injure Sonic and his friends; he was simply misguided in his attempts to spend time with them.
    3. Misguided or not, Mark still went too far, and does receive consequences in the form of getting “fired” from being Sonic’s personal assistant.
  1. Conclusion
    1. Summarize points in introduction, restate thesis
    2. Message writers are trying to convey: okay to have a passion and be a fan, but there is a point where one can go too far.
    3. Discuss how “mind-blowing” it is that a relatively simplistic cartoon can be used to provoke thought in how we as humans act.
    4. Go back to how this makes television a strong rhetorical device even in the most “vapid” of ways.


Posted October 5, 2017 by ajs680 in category Uncategorized

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