Mapping Commonplaces: Rhetorical Analysis of Text


A Contextual Analysis of the Mayflower Hotel:

Multimodal Perception

          The Exterior of the Mayflower Hotel

Within a contextual area, one can find many factors of influence that become attributes for said area. This can be deemed true when analyzing the location and commonplace of the Mayflower Hotel. Located on Connecticut Avenue NW, the hotel is just blocks away from the two peninsulas of the District of Columbia, the White House and The Capitol Building. Reaching its’ peaks throughout the ages, the Mayflower Hotel is highly known for its revered guests and notable events. When choosing a rhetorical multimodal source, I found that combining word and image provide a greater understanding to the Mayflower Hotel and the influence that has followed throughout the ages.

            Firstly, I found my topo’s by reviewing various locations throughout the District of Columbia. I wanted a location that combined both classicism and modernism in one “melting pot.” This deemed true for the Mayflower Hotel, as such a historic hotel it may be, the overall look of the hotel is quite modern. Additionally, the hotel is surrounded by apartment buildings, and office spaces which give about a more modernistic feel. Located on the bustling Connecticut Avenue NW, the hotel itself lies within the hub of D.C. Located blocks from the White House and the Capitol Building, the hotel has been greeted by many historic guests and events; while holding a high political influence. This location intrigued me mainly due to the fact that such a historic hotel is within the most modern part of D.C. This caught my eye, and made me want to create innovative ways to portray this commonplace with a mix of classicism, history, and modernism.

            When combining image and word, I found that one could map the known attributes of the hotel. By using Wordle one can see how a “map” of the Mayflower Hotel was done just by using key words that are attributed to the hotel. This source was helpful in providing an innovative way of portraying text; in a form of “art.” One can see the different use in boldness and thickness which helps identify main words and supporting words to bring about knowledge of the hotel. By combining these two attributes, I was able to create an innovative way of mapping my location. The center point of said “map” is the word Mayflower and terms such as “White House’ are shown in close proximity to the hotel to portray its’ real life location. Additionally, I chose to use warmer colors to bring a sense of longevity to the map. Although the colors follow traditionally red, yellow, and orange hues, their bold lines and sharp edges exemplify an assertiveness to catch the audiences’ attention. The overall use of the map was to portray my commonplace in a way of innovation while also providing historical logic.

            Additionally, I wanted to portray the numerous guests that have stayed within the Mayflower Hotel. This in itself could become a map, because it shows the hotels’ history through its own guests. I wanted to portray this information as a timeline, but not of the hotels’ history. Rather, I wanted to use image and text to portray the hotels’ history by its many notable guests and events. This was done by using Piktochart which allowed me to combine image and word to create an innovative timeline that tells the tale of the Mayflower Hotel. Starting in 1925, the hotel has seen many guests, hosted many events, and has had various scandals. I portrayed this by showing images from various time periods and providing a quick text of what happened during this time. Gradually one should begin to see that is was mainly due to the guests and events that attributed to hotels renovation and overall “change” throughout the years of its existence.

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