Rudy and the “Janitor”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27D4k3dCXPg

I believe that any motivational movie is a perfect example of public address with a fitting response. These movies are designed with the purpose of revealing or simply reminding the audience that certain undesirable situations exist and usually leaves them motivated to act. This is no different for the movie “Rudy.” There are two exigencies presented in this movie and the scene (in the link above). The first utilizes the commonly known proverb, “If at first you don’t succeed try and try again.” The movie is about how Rudy, a boy with poor grades, poor athletic skills, and who is half the size of normal football players, defies the expectation of everyone around him by becoming a well-respected football player for Notre Dame. He shows that with drive and spirit, one can achieve their dreams. Because this situation of being told that one cannot achieve something can be applied to many aspects of our every day lives, it establishes a common ground among the audience. Therefore, the message that determination and hard work results in success becomes more believable. Additionally, the movie establishes more credibility through pathos and logos in Rudy’s hardships.

At the climax of the movie or in the scene selected, Rudy reveals an additional exigency: the problem with letting others have control over one’s emotions and proving something to others rather than oneself. Leading up to this scene, Rudy is ready to give up and quit football because he thinks that without the chance of running out of the tunnel dressed in uniform, he cannot prove his worthiness to his family and friends. However, the janitor wakes him up, reminding him of what he has already achieved and explaining that he will regret letting others get to him. Although this itself is a strong enough message (as it is obvious that Rudy should be proud of his achievements) the janitor further establishes his credibility by revealing that he was a former football player who regrets giving in to frustration and quitting. He says, “Still not a week goes by I don’t regret it, and I guarantee a week won’t go by in your life you won’t regret walking out letting them get the best of you.”  This lesson is the turning point in the movie and therefore proves to the audience of the possibilities that exist in following the underlying message, “If at first you don’t succeed try and try again.”

Irene Tsai

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1 comment so far

  1. brownk19 on

    I agree that motivational movies are good example of public address with a fitting response. The rhetorical situation during the climax of the movie, allows the janitor to really step up and teach Rudy a lesson. Rudy had been proving to us throughout the movie to never give up your dream and keep trying. When he is feeling down, it is the situation that allows the Janitor to help make him beleive again. This is a very powerful part in the movie and is able to motivate viewers of the movie. I agree that this is turning point in the movie and is what makes “Rudy” such a powerful movie. It is able to motivate people because of it strong message and because of its ethos. Being a true story, the creditability is established and allows us as the viewers to really be beleive that we can accomplish anything we put are minds to.

    Kyle Brown


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