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Rhetorical Analysis of Westworld Season one Finale

Autor:   •  May 23, 2019  •  Book/Movie Report  •  987 Words (4 Pages)  •  93 Views

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Rhetorical Analysis of Westworld Season One Finale

Life has no true meaning if there are no consequences for your actions and no challenges to overcome. This claim is brilliantly delivered in the season finale of the highly acclaimed TV show Westworld, directed by Jonathan Nolan. The season one finale, “The Bicameral Mind”, fills many plot holes in the storyline, bringing the season to a climactic ending. Through the use of emotional appeal and logical reasoning, Nolan was able to effectively communicate his message, but it may have fallen short with some of the viewers.

In order for Nolan to effectively communicate his message, he needed the audience to feel sympathy towards the hosts. He did this through the use of hand held film techniques, personification of the hosts, and vivid imagery of physical and emotional pain. For this episode, Nolan decided to use handheld camerawork in order to very gently suggest that the sympathy of the audience should lie with the hosts. This type of filming is used in order to direct the attention of the audience to small, yet significant details and in this case, Nolan wanted his audience to see the sad, helpless, and very humanlike emotions expressed by the hosts. As the hosts are only programmed robots, the audience may feel nothing towards them since they are only a piece of machinery and have their memories wiped each time they are disabled, rendering them as non-conscious beings. Nolan changed this view by making them look exactly like humans and also have the same capability of experiencing emotion. In addition to this, Delores was able to achieve full consciousness, remembering all that has happened to her and at that point, the only difference between hosts and humans are their biological composition. Nolan cleverly emphasized this point when Delores has an epiphany, realizing that humans are actually inferior to the hosts as they are mortal. The vivid depiction of suffering and anguish humanizes the hosts as the audience is able to understand the physical injury and complex emotions they go through. Nolan used many graphic scenes depicting rape, torture, and murder to show how the hosts were treated. The point of making the audience feel sympathy is so that they can self-reflect and ask themselves what they would do in place of the guests and what meaning would their life have if there were no consequences for their actions.

In addition to emotional appeal, Nolan requires the audience to be able to rationalize the complex narrative so they can understand his message. This was done through the use of symbolic imagery and epiphanies. A major theme needed to understand this episode is the “bicameral mind”, a theory that claims true consciousness can only be achieved if one realizes that their subconscious is that of their own and not an external being. This theory is crucial for the audience to understand as it is the basis of Nolan’s


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