The Rhetorical Analysis of Oriana Fallaci’s Interview with History Cover Image

Analiza retoryczna Wywiadu z historią Oriany Fallaci
The Rhetorical Analysis of Oriana Fallaci’s Interview with History

Author(s): Kaja Rostkowska-Biszczanik
Subject(s): Media studies, Theory of Communication
Published by: Wydawnictwo Wydziału Dziennikarstwa, Informacji i Bibliologii Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: interview; leadership; modes of persuasion; rhetoric; rhetorical figures

Summary/Abstract: The paper deals with rhetoric of journalism in a political interview. Scientific objective: To indicate rhetorical devices used by Oriana Fallaci in Interview with History. Research method: The paper is an attempt at rhetorical analysis, and it discusses rhetorical elements appearing in the preface, in the biographical notes of the interviewees, and in the main text. Fallaci’s interviews are arranged on the pillars of complementary modes of persuading — logos, ethos, and pathos. The material is structured according to this key, which allows for discussion of selected rhetorical ways of referring to reason, will, and emotion. Results and conclusions: In relation to the preface, the paper identifies the topos of introduction (novelty, brevity, modesty, and humor), references to the recipient, the author herself, and the topic as a common matter. The biographical notes and main text of interviews demonstrate the function of instruction assigned to rational argumentation and proving. Among the journalist’s techniques belonging to the ethos sphere, axiological argumentation and the use of thought figures (antithesis, discrediting) were pointed out. The pathos sphere was characterized, among others, by discussing the imagery. Cognitive value: The paper fills a gap in research on the Oriana Fallaci’s method — no rhetorical analysis of her conversations has been undertaken so far. The techniques described are not only theoretical but also practical, they can be adapted and developed in media practice.

  • Issue Year: 21/2020
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 440-451
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Polish