Rhetoric is a broad concept which I will try to break down in this assignment with main focus being on the general meaning of the word itself ‘rhetoric’ and comparison between African and western rhetoric.
Rhetoric involves studying and practice of communication which either persuades, inspires, informs or entertain targeted audiences in order to change beliefs, values habits or actions. Rhetoric is not only restricted or limited to speech and writing but appears in all media and genres says (Borrowman, 2010). Rhetoric can be performed via music and the arts, in greeting cards, Twitter posts, advertising and including elementary education.
Western and traditional Africa rhetoric each has different ways on how they tackle or handle their own tradition; western rhetoric is recorded or documented into books and shelfed in stores like libraries for the information to be available in the future. On the other hand, African rhetoric transferred from mouth to ear, and this is not documented because the rhetoricians are not known.
(Borrowman, 2010) states that; Western rhetoric consists of three main segments namely; English, French and Spanish. In the English segment; paragraph development follows a linear pattern; English speaking readers expect to see the introduction of purpose at the beginning of the piece. when writing descriptive prose American students tend to create subjective impressions in their descriptions, describing people or things or events in relation to themselves. Standard paragraph structure: the first sentence states the main idea, the main idea is followed by two or four sentences supporting it, the concluding sentence re-states your point but with more emphasis. The western rhetoric also consisted of the Romance: French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. The main distinguishing feature of this, in contrast to English, is diversion. Readers of these languages expect to find embellishment of ideas that are tangential to the main line of explanation, they consist of the use of broad, philosophical introductions, especially in formal writing. Students are taught a specific essay format in French schools; a five pattern that consists of introduction, thesis, antithesis, synthesis and conclusion, also students are taught to use the introduction to raise questions of define terms and suggest the form and argument of the body. Spanish writers also use more pronouns than native English writers.
On the other hand, African rhetoric begin at once to deal with the notion that in all things Europe is the teacher and Africa is the pupil, when interpreting African rhetoric states (Blake, 2009). Rhetorical differences within cultures rest upon the different emphases given to similar phenomena rather than on biological differences among people. Nothing of the stature of Aristotle’s Rhetoric appears in African cultural history, but long before there was a system of rhetoric men engaged in speechmaking. According to (Blake, 2009) writing is used for communication and historical preservation. In traditional African society those two ends were admirably satisfied by the drum. Communication was switch and the range was great; in the event the first drummer was unable to reach all the persons he wanted, then another at the outer fringes would take up the message for further transmission. And too, the drummer along with the village sage became a repository of all the necessary historical data relating to the village. Thus, while Africa culture did not produce a written treatise on rhetoric, it is nevertheless perhaps more so than western society, an expressive society. Sidney Mintz attempted to explore behavioral patterns of Afro-Americans by noting that, “Seemingly minor behavioral patterns are tied to the expressive media, such as music, dance, drum and voice”. In the present day in own culture certain dances that symbolizes certain meanings are still practiced including drums and songs all together convey a certain message.
Reading the two chapters out loud created a sense of understanding; it was easier to understand what I was reading and, in the process, created pictures of what I was reading in my mind. It is fun and enjoyable reading out loud but somehow tiring, it is as though it exhausts the brain.