WRD 104: Composition & Rhetoric II Rotating Header Image

Example of a Contextual Analysis: “A New Obama Cinema?”

From the New York Review of Books, February 11th, note how the writer integrates argument with contextual analysis:

In its casting, content and positioning (little more than an hour after Obama told a pre-Super Bowl interviewer that he deserved a second term because of his successful economic policies, in the midst of the most widely watched telecast in American history), “It’s Halftime in America” was a most effective bit of political theater—maybe the best of its kind since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 “Morning in America.” 

 But note how he also draws on textual analysis along the way:

  • “A lone lean figure strides purposefully through a dark tunnel, maybe a highway underpass.”
  • “The music is solemn, soothing, just short of uplifting, and Eastwood’s narrative is suddenly specific”
  •  “Cue rusty factories. ‘But we all pulled together—now Motor City is fighting again.’
  • “That’s what we do. The spot has a sense of gentle but firm forward motion, created by slow dolly shots and moving cars.”