Rhetorical Analysis of Alex Hunt and Brian Wheeler`s Construction of Brexit
RhetoricalAnalysis of Alex Hunt and Brian Wheeler’s Construction of Brexit
RhetoricalAnalysis of Alex Hunt and Brian Wheeler’s Construction of Brexit
Awriter’s purpose establishes the techniques employed to reach outto audiences. The author`s intentions may vary from offeringinformative, straightforward, propagandist, manipulative oradvertising oriented literature. Regardless of intent, a goodunderstanding of principal purposes avails a reader capacity tointerpret accurately a text’s underlying context(Bargiela-Chiappini & Nickerson, 2014). These interpretationsplay a pivotal role in enabling audiences to comprehend a writer’smotivation in making decisions regarding large as well as miniaturedetails evident from the prose. On 30 April 2017, Alex Hunt and BrianWheeler published an article titled, Brexit:All You Need to Know about the UK Leaving the EUon TheBBCwebsite. The British vote to secede officially from the EuropeanUnion surprised much of the world compelling people to look for sobersources of information concerning the sensitive issue with farreaching consequences. This informative article gives audiences acomprehensive outlook of what Brexit entails, what it means tocitizens of the UK, its impacts on Ireland, expected economicenvironment and international travel changes, trade, marriage to EUnationals amongst other things (Hunt & Wheeler, 2017). The coreintent of the authors is to avail in-depth information concisely forBritish nationals towards gaining a good understanding of the outcomeof the 2016 Brexit referendum vote. This paper essentially looks topresent a critical rhetorical analysis identifying rhetorical appealsand strategies the authors employ to offer audiences sincereinformation of the national issue. The paper illustrates the way theauthors employ cause and effect, anecdotes, symbols, pathos as wellas ethos as rhetorical strategies.
Theuse of cause and effect as a rhetoric strategy helps to explain atimeline of events providing a presentation of the future, presentand past (Bargiela-Chiappini & Nickerson, 2014). The use of theapproach helps authors to provide an empirical evidence ofoccurrences and their implications to other situations. It provides acorrelation between activities, where one event leads to another. Itaims to offer conclusive explanations concerning reasons for adistinct occurrence and the subsequent consequences resulting fromthe action taken. Hunt and Wheeler (2017) use this strategy to enablethe audiences to uncover the delicate and connections that encompassthe entire Brexit agenda. The effect is to assess past events withthe sole purpose of offering information that orientates to Britain’sfuture. Hunt and Wheeler (2017) explicate that the need for fullcontrol of UK’s boundaries and sovereignty in running polices ortrade allowed the country to initiate the process. The authorsillustrate the reasons for the decision to leave as well as describethe implications of Brexit on the overall economy and safety of thenation.
Inthe BBC article, Hunt and Wheeler (2017) provide, “A referendum – avote in which everyone (or nearly everyone) of voting age can takepart – was held on Thursday 23 June, 2016, to decide whether the UKshould leave or remain in the European Union. Leave won by 51.9% to48.1%” (2). This past event resulted in the ultimate necessity formajor alterations in the country’s governance systems with theDavid Cameron exiting the Prime Minister’s post for Theresa May totake up the position. To this effect, the authors input considerableresources towards highlighting as well as explaining the far-reachingconsequences from that expected to occur immediately to those, whichmay take more than two years to actualize (Hunt & Wheeler, 2017).The article cites the economic stability after Brexit as unexpectedoutcomes since pundits predicted severe turmoil (Hunt & Wheeler,2017). The consequences include a two-year wait for the actual exitto occur in its entirety, a duration that is likely to elicitextensions if the need arises.
TheApplication of Logos
Theauthors utilize definition, real life examples, definitions, factualdata and statistics, citations from authority and experts as well asliteral analogies to respond in a rationally and cognitively(Bargiela-Chiappini & Nickerson, 2014). The application of logosin this context looks into the writer’s argument reasoning andlogical evidence aiming to satisfy the audiences’ quest forcredibility. For instance, at the very start of the article, Hunt andWheeler (2017) provide the definition of Brexit as, “It is a wordthat has become used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving theEU – merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit”(1). The authors go ahead to provide a parallel of the name byasserting that it is the same as what people dubbed the exit ofGreece from the union. For the Scottish people, Britain opting tovote for Brexit resulted in a public outcry essentially because mostof its voters voted to remain in the European Union. To support thisnotion, Hunt and Wheeler (2017) show the data from Scotland’soverall vote, which indicates that the country backed a stay in theunion by 62% while only 38% of the population voted to leave. Giventhat Scotland is effectively a member state of the greater UnitedKingdom and that its citizens voted for the latter to remain in theEU led to the emergence of an unfavorable outcome. Scotland’speople manifesting a different opinion on the referendum project aprobable future outcome and the nation may ultimately choose toremove herself as a member of the UK (Hunt & Wheeler, 2017).
Throughoutthe article, the authors intelligently provide hyperlinks with whichaudiences can access other websites giving succinct information onthe development of manifest opinions. The authors provide thatBritain’s new Prime Minister leads UK’s charge for the entire EUexit process (Hunt & Wheeler, 2017). To this effect, the authorsattach a hyperlink to the phrase “In a letter to the EU councilpresident Donald Task” (Hunt & Wheeler, 2017, para. 7). Priorto the referendum, Brexit opponents cautioned the public on theimmediate economic effects envisioned to follow in the vote inclinedto EU exit. This did not occur on the expected scale but significanteconomic pressures stemming from inflation spikes are notable. Theauthors state official Office of National Statistics (ONS) figuresshowing “inflation has risen-to 2.3% in February-its highest ratefor three and a half years but unemployment has continued to fall, tostand at an 11-year low of 4.8%” (Hunt & Wheeler, 2017, para.8).’ This information backed by authentic statistics and factsserves to comfort audiences to the effect that Brexit does notnecessarily translate to doom for UK residents as earlier expressedby the remain campaigners.
Authors use this form of rhetorical appeal to nurture credibility aswell as trustworthiness as a demonstration of authority (White,2014). Hunt and Wheeler (2017) develop ethos by opting to publish thearticle on an internationally acknowledged media organizationrenowned for its trustworthiness, authority, and credibility. Indeed,the two authors appear fair-minded, sincere, and knowledgeable. Theauthors present information on the subject manner in a professionalmanner, with correct grammar, appropriate use of language for thesubject and audience while also striking readers as ethically andmorally likable demonstrating finesse in the application of theEnglish language (White, 2014). In answering the query, “Will MPsget a vote on the Brexit deal?” the authors offer a resounding‘Yes’ depicting professionalism in discussing the contentiousissue.
Huntand Wheeler (2017) point out that for a European country seeking toexist independently of the EU, it must conform to the Article 50plan. Given that no nation has previously opted to embark fully onthe exit process, no formal mechanism is presently available. Theformation of the union is highlighted, “It was created as part ofthe Treaty of Lisbon-an agreement signed up to by all EU states whichbecame laws in 2009. Before that treaty, there was no formalmechanism for a country to leave the EU” (Hunt & Wheeler, 2017,para. 11). The article’s audiences get to the understanding thatthe future consequences of Britain’s choice to leave the union willcontinue as the plan comes into effect. In describing the SupremeCourt case on Brexit, the article terms the entire affair as a courtbattle implying that there were serious divisions betweenstakeholders (Hunt & Wheeler, 2017). Throughout the article, theauthors employ a fair-minded approach in discussing the Brexit agendabetween the EU and the UK. For example, Hunt and Wheeler (2017)posit, “Both sides want trade to continue after Brexit with the UKseeking a positive outcome for those who wish to trade goods andservices – such as those in the City of London and wanting a‘comprehensive free trade deal" giving the UK’ the greatestpossible access to the single market” (para. 20).’
ThePresentation of Pathos
Theapplication of pathos essentially works to elicit emotional responsesfrom audiences using vivid descriptions, emotional language,figurative speech, emotional tone, and expressive examples (White,2014). The article under discussion is informative in nature andlooks to avail detailed information to the general UK public in avery honest manner. Brexit appeals to a given quota of the nation’spopulations while at the same time being viewed with great skepticismby other Britons like citizens of Ireland as well as Scotland (Hunt &Wheeler, 2017). The Scottish people, who show notable discomforts inthe outcome of the referendum vote are as the authors provide, make“a choice between a ‘hard Brexit’ and becoming an independentcountry, possibly in the EU” (Hunt & Wheeler, 2017, para. 18).’On the same note, the article notes that the UK is not keen onaddressing Scotland’s pretentions. Therefore, the authors usepathos well to highlight the difficulty in emotions of the citizensfrom the two countries.
Asthis paper has revealed, the authors have skillfully applied causeand effect as a rhetorical strategy as well as rhetorical appealscapturing the essence of the subject matter. The article has numeroussubheadings, which detail each aspect of Brexit concisely buteffectively allowing the reader to comprehend the entire process.Moreover, the use of hyperlinks, statistics, examples, andcorrelation of the different elements of the move to leave EU, helpsthe audience to identify with the writers. Throughout the paper, theapplication of logos underscores the brevity of the subject matter,ethos cements the sincerity of information projected and pathos notesthe disquiet occurring among UK citizens.
Bargiela-Chiappini,F., & Nickerson, C. R. (2014). Writingbusiness: Genres, media, and discourses.New York City, NY: Routledge.
Hunt,A. & Wheeler, B. (30 March 2017). Brexit: All you need to knowabout the UK leaving the EU. BBCNews.Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32810887
White,M. S. (2014). An inter-disciplinary language for inter-disciplinarycommunication: academic globalization, ethos, pathos, andlogos. Systemics,Cybernetics and Informatics,27.
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