“Trumps and Kim Jon Un Dispute”
Visual rhetoric is a form of art that utilizes images to persuade the audience to accept a particular point of view. According to Richard Nordquist (1), “visual rhetoric is a tool that considers how doing something will affect the outcome of another.” In politics, visual rhetoric hides political views and opinions within images to the audience. The images may represent a funny situation or act as some way to criticize some public figures. In the picture provided, the artist highlights the common error in leadership. David Roochnik (129) argues that this skill has been used for centuries and became common during the renaissance error where leaders were using their power wrongly to hurt their citizens by going to war and overly taxing their subjects.
The purpose of the picture is to address the state the world is currently in (“A Research Guide” 1). In the cartoon image, there are two characters and both are men. Both of these men are holding something in their hands that resembles nuclear bombs. Right between them is a red tie that extends from one of the man’s neck to the floor. The heading of the picture is, ‘TRUMP’S RED LINE.’
Language and Graphics.
The two men are the two presidents, Kim Jon Un, the president of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and the current head of state in America (USA), Donald Trump. They are used as symbols to represent their respective countries. These are one of the two most powerful nations in the world in terms of weapons and security. The height of the two presidents is not the same. The president of the United States is taller to signify that the USA is a more powerful country than North Korea. The nuclear bombs they hold in their hands are used to represent the nuclear power these two countries possess.
There is a red tie that originates from Trump’s neck and extends through to the floor and Kim Jong Un is standing on the tie. According to Abigail Tracy (1), the tie symbolizes the red tie that Trump always wears while making public appearances. Trump supposedly uses this red line to raise fear in people. “Donald Trump warned Miller not to cross his red line by investigating his family” (Tracy 1). The tie represents a well-known line that people should not cross when dealing with Trump. Kim Jong Un is standing at the middle in the image. This act means that Kim Jong Un is almost crossing Trump’s line. If he does, his actions may cause a nuclear war between the two nations.
In the picture, Kim Jong Un’s words are the most significant. He says, ‘…WATCH OUT..I AM DANGEROUS AND UNPREDICTABLE..’ The words highlight the mood the artist wants to set. The words voiced by Un represent how angry he is with Trump. The conflict between the two parties is well described by these words.
The picture represents a possible disagreement between the two countries. The two countries have been engaged in a argument ever since Donald Trump threatened to destroy the country. Simon Tisdall states that “Trump said he would totally destroy North Korea by raining fire and fury” (1). After a peace meeting early this year, the two leaders seemed to have put their differences aside and sat down and talked. The picture shows the North Korean president warning Trump he is dangerous but Trump responds by confirming that he is deadly too. This exchange portrays the two leaders as short-tempered people who cannot agree on anything.
The message the artist is trying to present using the picture is that the two of the most powerful people in the world should not be having arguments and threatening to use nuclear power in their dispute. In the event that any world leaders disagree, the dispute should remain personal and should not involve their respective countries. The audience intended for the picture are the citizens of both countries. Misuse of power may lead to contrary effects on the citizens of both countries, for example, deaths and loss of homes. Nuclear weapons are not a tool for leaders to threaten each other during conflicts rather they are meant for protection.
In conclusion, the artist tries to bring out the errors in the ways some world leaders handle conflict. The image addresses issues like inefficiency and bad leadership. In the past, wars started in a similar manner, two leaders disagree and eventually end up causing major disasters to both of their nations. This can be prevented by using diplomacy, but some leaders prefer to use violence in order to feel powerful. The artist is articulating the point that modern leaders have no longer respect the purity of human life and would rather engage in wars than settle their conflict agreeably.
‘A Research Guide’. “A Simple Guide to Visual Rhetoric Analysis – A Research Guide.” A Research Guide for Students, 15 May 2018, www.aresearchguide.com/what-is-visual-rhetoric.html.
Nordquist, Richard. “Visual Rhetoric: The Persuasive Use of Images.” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, www.thoughtco.com/visual-rhetoric-1692596.
Roochnik, David. “Is Rhetoric an Art?” Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric, vol. 12, no. 2, 1994, pp. 127–154. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/rh.19126.96.36.199.
Tisdall, Simon. “Trump Is Dangerous Again as His Kim Jong-Un ‘Breakthrough’ Turns Sour | Simon Tisdall.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 3 Sept. 2018, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/03/donald-trump-dangerous-kim-jong-un-president.
Tracy, Abigail. “Robert Mueller Is Going Way Beyond Trumps Red Line.” The Hive, Vanity Fair, 28 Feb. 2018, www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/02/robert-mueller-donald-trump-red-line.
Ali Al Braheem
Prof. Ghazi Nassir
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