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Analyze the rhetorical devices in any appropriate song relating to totalitarianism.  

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danielb77 | Valedictorian

Posted July 22, 2013 at 9:25 PM via web

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Analyze the rhetorical devices in any appropriate song relating to totalitarianism.  

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 22, 2013 at 10:53 PM (Answer #1)

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Because music is an effective form of expression and communication, song writers often write (and singers often sing) songs expressing their outrage about all kinds of things. Songs which claim that government--or anything else--is tyrannical and abusive would certainly qualify as a song about totalitarianism.

The following song is one obvious example (disclaimer--i have never heard of this band or this song, so forgive me if they do not fall into the realm of "appropriate"). The song claims that society has succumbed to the dictatorship of the media, which controls what we think.

"Totalitarian Hypnosis" by Beneath the Massacre

Blinded by the shining light of the screen This
fake reality will soon be mine As I look I just
become more obedient to my master's will

Punctilious work has been done to win our
attention

Dictatorship of thought through the media
The first class controlling the center of
attention Concentration of the sources is the key
for a forces fed mentality A pipeline crushed in
you is slowly flooding your mind with this reality
At their convenience. Not only have I turned my
back on the sheepherder That once conditioned me
but I as well left him to died and rot. Rot.

Some rhetorical devices in this song include figurative language, repetition, and imagery. 

Figurative language includes metaphors and similes which make comparisons between two things. Here the song compares us (members of society) to sheep who have docilely followed a shepherd and the media to a dictator and a master, seeking to control our thoughts. 

Repetition is not uncommon in music or poetry, and it is an effective way to strengthen a point. Here it is used only once, which is part of the reason it is so effective. The final word of the song is repeated for emphasis and to leave a lasting impression: rot.

Imagery in this song helps create a word picture which enhances the meaning of the words themselves. Here the song suggests that the media has created "a pipeline" which has been "crushed" in us and is "slowly flooding your mind" with whatever "reality" it chooses--"at their convenience." This image of a broken pipe whose contents are seeping into our minds and somehow taking over is a powerful picture of gradual but certain control.

Songs often tell a story or make a statement; this song makes a strong statement about the power of the media to control us and society's willingness to let it happen. The only hope is in the final lines, as this singer has turned his back on the media, leaving it to "rot." 

Sources:

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