The Essence of Persuasion

The Essence of Persuasion
By Trudy A. Martinez
Rhetoric is the essence of persuasion.
What is it?  What is rhetoric?
Rhetoric is everything around us that influence, persuade, or create thought, action, or meaning. 
Rhetoric takes form by way of our senses:  a touch, a sound, a smell, a sight, and by way of the written word.
Methods of persuasion differ, creating implicit or explicit effects.
What is it?  What is style?
Style is the method of utilizing rhetoric to persuade.  Style changes according to situation as one might change their clothes.
For instance, Low style parallels the lazy at home dress while Middle may be a step up to a casual dress suitable for leaving the house but not as suitable as High style, a more formal attire.  High style would be for an evening out on the town.
Style may take form through the structure of a sentence, repetition or a word, alliteration in content, or a series of other techniques of placement or arrangement, or it may be completely transparent.  Style is characteristic of the brush strokes on a canvas, an art that communicates experience. 
Hence, style is uniquely the individual.

The Art of Persuasion

By Trudy A. Martinez

 London, England. 1990  

The disarrangement of layers of garments of what appears to be this man’s entire wardrobe encourages a perception of a hastened escape.  The unevenly buttoned overcoat adds emphasis, ringing out a concurring sense of rush.  But regardless of what his dress hints at, the sign next to him conquers his will to continue accordingly.


As a result, the uniqueness of the moment renders the words, Time to Relax, triumphant.  This is demonstrated by the man’s huddled posture resting on the bench while his hand is clinched on a plastic bag that is resting on the ground.  The position of the man and the bag, in addition to the caption (Time to Relax), suggest the Art of Persuasion has been fulfilled.