Answering the Right Questions

Question: Why is rhetoric so important in what we read, and how does rhetoric change the readers opinion?

Rhetoric has a unique importance in writing and reading, as its job is to convince the reader of the writer’s point. In the case of Jia Tolentino’s writing, rhetoric is significant has her points are novel and do not enjoy the luxury of being widely accepted as mainstream. Rhetoric changes the reader’s opinion by convincing them that the point being made is correct, which is achieved by an appeal to the reader’s logic, emotions, or ethics.

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the needs in the Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of Needs? Or is there something you would take out of the pyramid and replace it with another type of need?

The Hierarchy of Needs is an interesting concept. I believe that stage theories such as that are true, but let’s take a closer look at this one. I agree with it, as human needs can be separated into the following categories: individual survival, group survival, and identity. Humans are social animals, so it makes sense that the first need we have is to survive and the next need we have to be secure in our social structure. Once one is secure, they can aim to improve their situation. Having a relationship or love is a better standing in the social structure than just being safe. Once we reach our full potential in the social structure, we seek meaning so we try to create something or distinguish ourselves.

Question: Is rhetoric unique to humans because of our complex system of communication or is it possible for other animals to have their own styles of rhetoric based off of their communication?

Rhetoric is unique to humans because of our complex communication system and the lack of a need for it in other species. Our language allows for argumentative communication unlike animals, however some species could develop arguments such as chimpanzees and dolphins. their languages are primitive but can grow and be rhetorically viable. However, no animal needs rhetoric. There is no animal that needs to convince another animal of an argument. Simple things such as where to go next for food or which animal should become pack leader is decided on by the animal that has established dominance. More individual decisions such as mating or fighting are made by force or display. The male with the prettiest feathers or toughest disposition gets the female. As for combat, it boils down to smashing heads together or an analogous display of force rather than convincing the opposing animal that they are not worthy of the food or mate.

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