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Analysis and Finalizing

Jerome Vargas

City College of San Francisco


08 MAY2022

Instructor: Sage Russo

Bitzer’s rhetorical situation constitutes of rhetorical exigence, rhetorical audience and

constraints, which can be used in analyzing an artifact. Rhetorical exigence

is the problem to solve or something, which need to be done and can be changed or fixed to some

extend with others cooperation. For example, when Steve Cutts developed Happiness, (Cutts, S., 2018), it meant he had an audience, who needed this information. The information in the short

video clip answers the issue but it also needed to be provided in such a way that the targeted

audience is persuasive to believe that message as credible. In this analysis we will analyze Happiness by Cutts in regard to Bitzer’s rhetorical situation.

Happiness by Steve Cutts strongly criticizes the contemporary where Cutts opts to represent humans using rats. The animation begins with rats that run in a white background as a song can be heard and it follows the video. The song brings out how love is hard to tame. The irony of the song can be interpreted as the difficulty of finding love. People are in a race to find love and pleasure. Additionally through the use of depressing comedy, heartfelt appeals to pathos and unique appeals to logos, the maker of the short animated film “happiness” effectively convinces the viewer that happiness can be found purely through materialism.

In regard to Bitzer’s rhetorical situation, to persuade the audience, Cutts makes use of logic to bring out materialism that makes people behave. This is brought out when a black Friday sale is shown and everyone begins attacking one another over simple items in the store as the store owner does not do anything since he is making profit. This brings out how almost everyone drops their morals and respects and focus on nothing but the things they wish to purchase as well as income they can make. He plays the part of animation in a slow motion to make sure that people see the message behind it. This shows that people can be ravaging animals for simple materialistic aspects and even hurt others for it.

Another way that Cutts uses is through appealing the audience’s emotions through showing us how to deal with our sadness using material things. It demonstrates the mouse using alcohol and prescription drugs to find his happiness. This brings out how we endanger our health as well as body through the use of alcohol and drugs in order to find happiness through them. Though happiness is found through these means it is for a short term and hurts us more in comparison to how it helps us. This proves that it is not our fault since we are led to believe that it is the right way to find happiness.

Another appeal to logic that Cutts uses is that we give up most of our lives for money. In the animation the mouse chases the dollar and gets himself caught in a trap that forces him to work. This shows the audience that we spend our lives chasing the money and giving up our lives to our career just to make money for the materialistic needs though it is similar to a trap since without doing so we wouldn’t have the ability to attain the needs to survive like food as well as a home. It is a continuous materialist-based loop we are all stuck in.

Based on Bitzer’s rhetorical situation, Cutts makes use of powerful logos and pathos as well as short animation. Cutts manages to effectively persuade the audience that happiness cannot be found through materialism. The video is effective in preventing the audience from finding happiness with only money. Additionally, even in the last few minutes, Cutts shows again the word Happiness and a rat begin to eat the wire of the name which is shown with the lights, a light electrocutes take place thus tuning the name off. It can be read as a thin line subject to today’s happiness since it can be easily seen in the entire video.


CUTTS, Steve. (2018). Happiness. Retrieved from

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