The Rhetorical Triangle: One Tree Hill

Photo By: Ted Major on Flickr

My favorite TV show is One Tree Hill. This is a show set in North Carolina surrounding a rivalry of two brothers, their family and friends. I thought it would be interesting if I applied what I learned in AP English to the show. I just learned about the rhetorical triangle this year. It is made up of the audience, speaker, and purpose surrounded by context.

In One Tree Hill the audience is for everyone. The creator, Mark Schwahn, has said this multiple times and it is attested by having a wide range of characters. In the first couple of seasons there are a group of teenagers all starting to be connected and their parents have a dominant role in the TV show too. This appeals to both a teen and adult audience. Then in the later seasons there is less of the parents and more of the young adults with some of their kids being featured. The creator is always trying to grow the audience.

The speaker is usually a character in the show. One of the main characters, Lucas Scott, for multiple seasons would give a narration at the beginning, end or both of almost every show. The audience could tell that he was the speaker. From time to time, however, other characters would give their two cents but as some may say “It was always Lucas Scott’s show”. The speaker is also Mark Schwahn since it is his vision and he is the one who ultimately came up with the concept.

The purpose according to Mark is to show a love for basketball, a love for relationships, and a love for music. The show is about love. The purpose is also to show that there is life after high school with having the adults have story arcs in the series. It shows a journey of brothers who hated each other first and then became true brothers. It is about friendship and family. Its purpose is to move audiences. It was relatable characters with relatable stories that can connect to everyone. One Tree Hill wants to bring real emotions and show what is really important in life. “It is about making someone proud of you, it’s about being proud of yourself” said Mark Schwahn. The purpose is to keep you growing and succeeding. There are so many other purposes; this show had so much purpose and lessons to teach.

It was so interesting putting the show into context and sharing it. I absolutely love this show and it was very rewarding to analyze it and dig a little deeper. I had no idea how much the parts of the rhetorical triangle really affect each other.

-Forever Putting My Thoughts On Paper

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