9 March, 2017
The Mayflower Hotel
Within the District of Columbia, there lies one of the most historic hotels; the Mayflower Hotel. This hotel has been the home to various notable guests and hosted a wide array of political and social events. (Wikipedia). A rhetorical analysis of the Mayflower Hotel’s website alludes to the fact that the hotel wants to keep up this atmosphere and additionally make a purpose to persuade a particular audience to stay there. In addition, the overall prime location of the hotel provides additional context to the hotel. However, a comparative analysis with the Mayflower hotel and that of another hotel give a glimpse into the use of persuasion that the hotel industry will use to persuade their guests.
An analysis of the Mayflower Hotel’s web page shows how it portrays the hotel to the public eye. When you first enter the homepage you are greeted with a gallery of beautifully picked images. These images show well-dressed people walking throughout the hotel, giving the illusion to well-dressed businessmen and women. Additionally, the hotel also shows images of families and children “enjoying their stay.” This seems to bring about a sense of diversity within the website to show audiences that anyone can stay here and enjoy their time within. The hotel is also portrayed in various high definition images to show just how architecturally pleasing the hotel is to the eye. Additionally, the use of syntax; or word placement within the website gives a sense of professionalism to it, that would attract more “top-tier audiences.” An example of this would be when the web page cites, “The Mayflower Hotel is a capital classic freshly rendered, a landmark hotel that brings timeless elegance and contemporary style to its role as a vibrant social hub – a Washington, D.C. original since 1925.” This quotation relates to the diction and syntax used to portray the hotel in a particular light. However, this could also attract those with a love for history, and historic buildings. The use of the wording on the web page is used to catch the eye of various audience members. An example of this would be how the use of the words “capital classic” and “timeless elegance” are used in a way to attract a certain audience; people who want to live a life of luxury, while the words, “a pleasant stay” and “a family memory for a lifetime” will attract other members. Additionally, the way the syntax is put together is quite an interesting way. It starts by naming the hotel a “classic” and goes on to complement various characteristics of the Mayflower Hotel. Lastly, the use of tone within the webpage seems to be a reoccurring theme throughout. The overall tone within the webpage obviously seems to be promoting the hotel and providing a sense of attraction to a varied group of people. (“The Mayflower Hotel”).
When taking a deeper look at the webpage, it is noticeable the high use of rhetorical persuasion; that is ethos, logos, and pathos. First, the webpage makes a strong use of pathos, which is the use of persuading an audience through emotional appeal. The web page designer makes a good use of the hotels deep-rooted history. The design is made for the audience to click on one of the various dates, and then there is a brief description of the hotels historical guests and events. When reading these descriptions, audience members can begin to reach an emotional connection to the hotel, as so much history has happened at this hotel. The hotel also makes a great use of the emotional events that have happened at there. An example of this would be in 1932 when Franklin D. Roosevelt prepares to deliver an inaugural speech intended to reassure U.S. citizens amidst economic depression. This is where President Roosevelt penned one of the most famous lines in U.S. political history, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This spews emotion, as many Americans would want to stay within a hotel that holds so much “American history.” Additionally, the hotels webpage makes a good persuasion of getting married here. The webpage even states, “the storybook sound of ‘Married at the Mayflower’ sets the tone for the next chapter in a beautiful life together.” When hearing that statement, who wouldn’t want to get married at the Mayflower? The tone of the webpage is very meaningful and in a way familiar. The hotel wants you feel as if this is your, “home away from home.”
In addition, the webpage makes a fair use of ethos to prove its own credibility as a hotel. The use of ethos means to provide an ethical appeal to the audience, and to prove one’s own credibility. The Mayflower Hotel’s ethical appeal would be that the hotel has been around since 1925, which it uses a lot as their credibility. Being an outside audience, seeing that a hotel has been open since 1925 seems to make the audience member think that the hotel must be doing something since it has been around for so long. Additionally, the webpage states major events that have happened at the hotel from 1927 to about 1994. The use of this would be to show the audience that this hotel has held prestigious events and housed notable figures and celebrities. This is used to heighten the credibility of the hotel because if such figures stay at this hotel then the Mayflower must be a luxurious hotel to stay at. it do this to keep the hotel’s reputation as a “luxurious experience.” By providing such examples and evidence, the hotel seems to seal its credulity as a hotel and a source to house events to many audiences.
Lastly, the webpage also seems to use logos to provide a logical reason for staying at this hotel. Logically speaking, it would make sense for any audience member to stay at the Mayflower. The facts are all within the website, it have catered to various prestigious guests, and hosted many political events. In a way, the web page is saying, without really saying, that it logically makes sense to stay within a hotel that attracts the “best of the best” within politics and the celebrity spectrum. The logos side on the webpage displays a good use of diction and syntax to give a sense of “professionalism” to the hotel; making a clear differentiation from any middle-income hotel. The overall contextual presentation of the website seems to show the audience why anyone would want to stay within this hotel; simply through the use of fact.
This is all something that can be compared to Fleming’s ideals on the attraction of space within social groups. Within Flemings analysis of an “ideal community”, he shares the concepts of what is needed. Within Flemings analysis, there are six key components that constitute an ideal community: heterogeneity, publicity, security, identity, size, and density. For Fleming, heterogeneity refers to the diversity of people found in a particular space, including a mixture of different ages, races, socioeconomic statuses and beliefs. This is something that can be seen on the Mayflower hotel’s web page as it tends to appeal to a varied audience. Additionally, Fleming defines publicity using two main concepts: first, a public space should be open and easily accessible to everyone in a community and second, it should be a space than encourages freedom of speech and the expression of political opinions. The ideals of this could be compared to how the Mayflower hotel seems to uphold itself. As the hotel is appealing itself to many guests, it can be seen that their the hotel would be a space for “many people.” Also, the idea of security and safety plays a big role in Fleming’s analysis. According to Fleming, meaningful discourse is more likely to occur in a given space if individuals feel safe and protected there. This is something that can be shown through the hotel’s overall location. Located in the middle of Connecticut Avenue, the Mayflower hotel is a minutes walk away from the White House. This provides a sense of security and safety. The final three within Fleming’s analysis; identity, size, and density seem to all be combined within one category for the Mayflower hotel. The overall location of the hotel is located in one of the most dense parts of the District of Columbia, which provides a large size of people and a higher density. Additionally, because of this there is a higher account of identity while the hotel provides a sense of inclusion. (Fleming).
Additionally, when comparing the hotel’s web page to that of the Willard Intercontinental, one can see quite the resemblance in the way these hotels persuade audience members to stay at their hotel. Both use various persuasive techniques to attract a more varied amount of members. Additionally, it seems interesting that these two different hotels use many similar words and sentences to attract upper and middle class audiences. it will allude to the ideals of luxury for older audience and then share ideals of a “fun stay” for more families and younger audiences. The persuasive techniques done by these hotel industries isn’t all that unique, and is something that it all do to strive for more members to stay of their hotel.
An analysis of the Mayflower Hotel shows just how hotels use the sense of persuasion to attract audience members. Through, syntax, diction, and tone, one could see just how the hotel tries to portray itself. Additionally, the web page tries to prove this through the use of ethos, pathos, and logos to heighten the use of persuasion. Lastly, the ideals of the Mayflower and many other hotels can be compared to the thoughts of fleming as hotels try and provide ideals that attract all audiences.
Fleming, David. “An Ideal Public Space.” The City of Rhetoric: The Ideal Community, vol. 8A, 2008.
“Mayflower Hotel .” Www.Wikipedia.com, 10 Mar. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayflower_Hotel.
“The Mayflower Hotel.” Www.historichotels.org, www.historichotels.org/hotels-resorts/the-mayflower-hotel-autograph-collection/. Accessed 7 Mar. 2017.
“The Mayflower Hotel.” Www.hotel-R.net, www.hotel-r.net/in/the-mayflower-hotel.
“A Washington D.C. Original: The Mayflower Hotel.” Www.themayflowerhotel.com, www.themayflowerhotel.com/.