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Nathan Ryan Reeves

Progymnasmata Description/Situational Rheotric

I am only unsure and wary about this post being that I read the readings and yet, I am still confused about how to write on what I want to write, so this is my second non-playful response to the readings and only due to ignorance. Even though I read the readings and wanted to be taking the playful descriptive approach and use the skill in practice, I feel as elaborating and writing on the concept would be beneficial.

The idea of the “Rhetorical Situation” is that writing in a way that can evoke emotion by using descriptive language, and using descriptive language with actions can bind all of that together to make one descriptive rhetorical situation in a writing. It uses writing skills to develop a scene or situation with the “presence of events, persons, or objects”, and using those objects to suggest a theme, (Bitzer, 1992). For example, if someone says that there is a dangerous situation, it is implied that there is an object or subject that can harm them, or that if something is embarrassing in a situation it should feel tense in the context of the situation.

It is not only used in the context of the situation but to make a convincing response with imagery and objects in the scene or situation. For instance, Bronislaw Malinow describes a fisherman in “The Rhetorical Situation”, quoted by Bitzer,

“The canoes glide slowly and noiselessly, punted by men especially good at this task and always used for it. Other experts who know the bottom of the lagoon … are on the look-out for fish. . .. Customary signs, or sounds or words are uttered”, (Bitzer, 1992).

While this is a short example from a bigger passage you can still see the descriptive language and punctuation from the situation. Like the canoes “gliding slowly and noiselessly”, and that there are customary “signs”, “sounds”, and words “uttered” by the fish in the lagoon alone.

In short, “Rhetorical Situation” is the idea and skill of using rhetoric and descriptive writing to develop a situation or scene by binding together descriptive words and actions to make a full picture scene with words. This can make scenes in writing to develop emotions like anger, nervousness, happiness, and make scenes more colorful than they would be without the descriptive language.

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