Sunday, October 23, 2016

Reflection on an Excerpt from "On the Want Of Money"

William Hazlitt's "On the Want of Money" is a compelling piece that takes a look at how money, or rather the want of it, is dehumanizing as it takes away from the pleasures of life, leaving it barren and banal. The nineteenth century writer's purpose for writing this piece could've been to highlight the detrimental effect money has all on people, wealthy and impoverished alike. The tone of the essay can be characterized as satiric due to the fact that Hazlitt dismisses the human yearning for affluence as foolishness. For instance, on lines 18-19 he gives an exaggerated example of the lengths people would go to money. He says that to want money is to be willing to "marry your landlady, or not the person you wish. " This is quite the exaggeration and is clearly satiric as he is ridiculing human kind's desperate need for wealth. Additionally, Hazlitt utilizes diction to further establish his argument. In the phrase "to forgo leisure, freedom, ease of body and mind, to be dependent on the good-will and caprice of others" the employment of words such as "forgo" and "dependent" contribute to a sense of despondency as Hazlitt compares being poor to being powerless in life. He then employs the same rhetorical techniques to show that being wealthy is no better than being poor. For example, he uses words like "envy, back-biting, and false-hood" to show the type of response others will have about someone's wealth. Ultimately, Hazlitt makes an effective argument by utilizing word choice and satire to show that when it comes to wealth, the grass really isn't greener on the other side. This essay is applicable to the world today as it can serve as a reminder to people to slow down from their search for wealth, reassess their morals and live their life to the fullest.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Reflection on AmbienCR Commercial

     The commercial for AmbienCR, a sleeping aid, can be considered effective. The subject of the advertisement is a woman whose life is disrupted due to her inability to have a full nights rest. The advertisement is said to have aired in 2008 and intended audiences include but are not limited to people with insomnia or people who know someone with insomnia. The purpose of this commercial is to persuade the audience that AmbienCR is a very helpful sleeping aid that can greatly influence an insomniac's life for the better. The speaker is obviously someone who has a vested interest in the monetary success of the sleeping aid. The tone of the ad changes from somber to a more lighter encouraging tone. One assumption that the advertisement makes is that the audience consists if people who have trouble sleeping. Additionally, the visuals of the advertisement helped to create an appeal to pathos. After critical analysis and viewing the videos with just visual and then just sound the appeal to emotion became quite clear. For instance, before the subject took AmbienCR the room looked gloomy. After she took the medicine the space around her seemed to light up. A specific example can be found in her work space. Before she took the sleeping aid the window in the far corner was shut and the room looked quite cramped. However, after she took the aid the room was shot from another angle with the window open and had people walking around. The gloomy space is something people associate with discomfort and the bright airy room is what most people associate with a happy mood. 
      Another aspect of the video that made it effective was the use of the rooster. The purpose of the rooster is clear as it is a common element in novels as something that is a disturbance or a nuisance to someone who is sleeping. To some the use of the rooster and the explanation of the side effects seemed comical and not as serious as it should've been. This is something that is quite common in commercials today as some visual elements in the video can be distracting. However, despite the silliness of the situation, the rooster helped grab the audience's attention and helped make the advertisement more effective as a whole.