|Type of paper:||Critical thinking|
Smoking is among human events in common activities which are easily noticed in the modern society. It is evident in fire prevention and public safety, environmental and health effects, behavioral studies among others. Almost 2-% of adults in the United States are engaging in cigarette smoking (61). It means that the activity is among the top contributors to death among the citizens of the United States. On many occasions, there are cases of people stopping to do some activities that they once enjoyed engaging in, and the situation worsens their conditions. Most of these individuals usually speak from what they experienced to communicate a strong message to the general public with an objective if helping people to stop smoking. They also encourage those who have not embarked on smoking to avoid starting. However, there is a possibility of preventing the act of smoking. Many advertisements are popping up in the society. These advertisements are for and anti-smoking. The anti-smoking adverts show the harmful effects of tobacco intake (64). Such adverts use startling images and graphic pictures to communicate their objective. For this assignment, three related photos are used to establish whether smoking is a choice or an addiction, how it impacts others and whether it is morally wrong.
The first image is a black and white picture with a young man smoking a cigarette. The image has a dark background. The smoke that emanates from the cigarette forms a handgun that is pointed at the young man's head. The look from the young man's eyes communicates an element of coolness. The picture has a caption "Kill a cigarette, save a life. Yours." The second image is also a black and white picture with a lady smoking a cigarette. The lady is dressed in black clothes with a black and white dotted cap. The cigarette forms a white smoke which creates a long rope-like structure which covers the lady's toward the neck. The smoke creates a rope-like structure. The fact that the rope-like smoke covers the neck communicates that smoking is like hanging one-self using a rope. It's a form of suicide. The background of the image is also dark, and the look from the lady's eyes shows that she is very relaxed and contented with her environment. The image has a caption "kill a cigarette and save a life. Yours." The last image is a person's hand holding a cigarette. There is a wristband covering the hand. The image has a dark background, and it is black and white as well. The white smoke from the cigarette forms a portrait of a knife which positions itself to cut the hand. The caption which accompanies the picture is the same as the previous three pictures "Kill a cigarette and Save a Life. Yours." These three image adverts make use of the three rhetorical appeals of logos, ethos, and pathos. These are visible through the images and their implied meanings. These images are in an excellent position to capture the dangers of smoking. The objective is to promote a sense of awareness of the dangers that smoking cigarettes bring. These visual images are a compelling form of media which communicates information faster than any other form. In as much as these images are appealing, their communication of ethos, pathos, and logos are coming out very effectively.
There is a need to give background information to understand the three images clearly. The caption is "Kill a cigarette and Save a Life. Yours." The caption is present in all the three images, making them be closely related. The first expectation from these pictures is that smoking is harmful. Publication of these three ads in the 19th century would have made it hard for people to get the real meanings easily. The modern society is aware that smoking causes lung cancer among other various health complications. The caption is, therefore, encouraging people to kill all cigarettes; meaning that there no one should lit any cigarette due to its effect on active and passive smokers. Killing a cigarette saves lives and the smoker's life as well. Smoking kills. The producer of the image is much concerned with the lives of active and passive smokers. The statement and the photos alone pierce the heart of smokers. The caption adds more ethos and logos to the image. In the first image, one feels awful at the sight of a young man engaging in cigarette smoking, an activity that develops a behavior in people due to addiction.
The objective of creating these images is to provoke a response from its audience. The audiences of these images are both smokers and non-smokers. The three images appear to increase the distaste of smoking and the adverse health effects to the non-smoking audience. The non-smoking audience would be unconcerned since smoking has little or no effects on them and their lives. However, smoking also affects the non-smoking audience through passive smoking. The images would, therefore, appeal most to individuals who vehemently oppose cigarettes and smoking. Such individuals hold the perception that anti-smoking advertisements and images will reach the cigar smokers and enable them to abandon smoking. However, this could not be the case.
The images would appear to the smokers as a reminder of the harm that smoking does to their bodies. Smokers would be indifferent to the pictures because, at some point, they are aware of the harmful effects that smoking has on their health. These individuals would, therefore, find it hard to quit smoking since they are addicted, or they are just lethargic to the condition. These smokers find such images intolerable and imitative since they feel that it is repetitive. They also think that the image is an individual attack on them and their perception and behaviors. The United States society perceives smoking as a bad habit. As a result, they attempt to detach themselves from the image adverts that contradict their beliefs and views.
The publisher of these images uses logos appeal. The first rhetorical appeal, logos is evident in the fact that smoking is harmful to one's health. In the contemporary society, the fact that smoking is detrimental to health is general knowledge. Every individual would say the same upon inquiry. For example, the Northern American culture sees smoking as harmful and damaging. The point is that smoking cigarette is like pointing a gun at oneself, waiting to pull the trigger. It is also equivalent to one taking a rope and hanging himself or herself. Smoking is also equal to taking a knife and killing oneself. In the past decades, smoking was highly encouraged and accepted in the society. The harmful nature of smoking cigarette is evident in the fact that the smoke in the picture forms an image of a handgun at the young man's head. The harmful nature of the gun is evident in the three different imageries used in the three pictures. These are a suicide gun, suicide knife, and a suicide rope. The three representations show that when one smokes, he/she is committing suicide. The caption used in these images is the same. The caption is an encouragement to people who smoke to put off their cigarettes. A smoker is continuing to pollute their lungs is, therefore, is equivalent to taking a gun and killing themselves. Smoking cigarettes are committing suicide.
Ethos, as a rhetorical appeal, also affects the message conveyed in the three images. Kelly Ashcraft is the creator of these three images. The creator is not a prominent photographer. He is only known to her friends and closed networks, and the people who use the internet and come across her work. There is a possibility of concluding several things about the character of this artist through the three images. The author of these images is making an effort to cultivate a culture of healthy lifestyle among the viewers of the pictures since the objective is to create an anti-smoking image. Since people have different perceptions of things that happen in their society, some people would view these images to have an ill motive towards the smokers. They would only view these people from the smoking aspect of their lives. The smokers would view it this way. Non-smokers will find it very easy to connect strongly with these three images since they and the artist/author have the same mindset concerning this issue. They can also find her work to be more believable than smokers since they would strongly agree with the message. Since the photographer is quite unknown, it makes it very hard to know the credibility of her work. What makes her work to stand out strongly is the fact that her work is original and creative. Her perception of smoking contradicts what the present-day American society views about smoking. Smoking cigarettes are undeniably harmful to people's health and therefore can result in death. The three images also convey the view that disregards individuals who smoke. Since Kelly and the United States society overlooks smokers, she loses sine credibility because her picture looks very negative and one-sided. She looks down smokers and scolds them of their behavior, instead of coming up with an effective way of helping these individuals.
Also, the image caption that Ashcraft uses does not make much contribution to the three images. The captions, therefore, do not help the artist. These words would have been more in effect if she had moved the words "yours" down and below the former line. If the artist had not used the caption on the three images, the images would not be as heartrending.
The final rhetorical appeal of pathos is also evident in the three pictures. Kelly Ashcraft uses a black and white effect in the three photos. The use of black and white influence in these images generates an ultimate yes or no situation when they imply that the decision to smoke or not is a life or death choice. In the first two images, the look of the young man and the young lady's eyes makes the thought of death to be more personal to the viewer. The smoke that forms the gun, knife and the suicide rope triggers emotions in many ways. It is the smoke that grabs the viewers' attention. The reason is that guns are not only dangerous in the United States but also controversial. The smoking gun, the suicidal rope, and the suicide knife suggest that when one smokes. He/she is committing suicide. Smoking is equivalent to pointing a gun at one's head. Smoking cigarette is also equivalent to stabbing oneself with a knife. Smoking is also equivalent to taking a rope and hanging oneself.
In conclusion, Kelly Ashcraft successfully employs the use of logos, ethos, and pathos. The three images show that smoking leads to serious diseases like lung cancer and chronic heart diseases. Smoking also reduces the productivity of workers and organizations which they work for, and this hampers productivity. The rhetorical appeals that the artist has employed in the three images are very successful in their application. Interpreting the three images is very valuable in the modern society. There are images in every place, and these images influence people in the environment in one way of the other. Ability to recognize the rhetorical appeals in these images is essential to protect the pictures from negative influences. In as much as the three images are influenced by predisposition and unimpressive placement of words in the caption, the message that comes out is that smoking cigarettes are dangerous to one's health. It is a fact that approves Ashcraft's argument that she attempts to bring out in the image. Many people smoke all over the world despite the anti-smoking advertisements. It is the conflict between the battle between smokers and non-smokers and the media.
Jha, Prabhat, and Richard Peto. "Global effects of smoking, of quitting, and of taxing tobacco." New England Journal of Medicine 370.1 (2014): 60-68.
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