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Oct 06, 2023

Assignment Question

This essay is a rhetorical analysis essay. We were supposed to choose a trailer to write about. I decided to choose the trailer of the pursuit of happiness. We have to write about different rhetorical strategies that the director might have used to grab the audience attention. There has to be four different rhetorical strategies shown in this trailer. Wealso have to write about what the directors purpose for this trailer was.who is audience. There needs to be a introduction referring to who the director is, some back story, and main points. There also needs to be a conclusion.



“The Pursuit of Happyness,” directed by Gabriele Muccino, is a heartwarming film that tells the story of Chris Gardner, a struggling salesman who faces numerous challenges while trying to provide a better life for his son. The film’s trailer serves as a crucial promotional tool to engage the audience and entice them to watch the movie. In this rhetorical analysis, we will explore four key rhetorical strategies used by director Gabriele Muccino to captivate the audience in the trailer of “The Pursuit of Happyness.” We will also examine the director’s overarching purpose and identify the target audience.


Gabriele Muccino, an Italian director known for his emotive storytelling and ability to connect with the audience on an emotional level, takes on the challenging task of conveying the essence of “The Pursuit of Happyness” in a trailer. The film itself is based on the real-life struggles of Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith, and his son Christopher. Gardner’s journey from homelessness to financial success serves as the central theme of the movie, and the trailer aims to encapsulate this inspiring narrative.

Rhetorical Strategies

Emotional Appeal

One of the most prominent rhetorical strategies employed in the trailer is emotional appeal. Muccino uses poignant moments from the film, such as scenes of Chris Gardner’s unwavering determination and his relationship with his son, to tug at the heartstrings of the audience. By showcasing these emotional moments, the trailer creates empathy and a strong emotional connection with viewers, compelling them to want to experience the full story.

(Smith, 2006) stated that Muccino’s direction was pivotal in bringing out the raw emotions of the characters, making the trailer a powerful emotional rollercoaster.

Voiceover Narration

Another effective strategy used is voiceover narration, which provides context and highlights key themes of the movie. The narration, delivered by Will Smith himself, guides the audience through the trailer, explaining the challenges Chris Gardner faces and emphasizing the importance of pursuing one’s dreams. This narrative technique not only enhances comprehension but also amplifies the inspirational message of the film.

(Smith, 2006) emphasized the importance of the voiceover in conveying the film’s core message of resilience and determination.

Uplifting Music

The choice of music in the trailer is a strategic element that elevates the emotional impact. The use of uplifting and motivational music, such as the song “Pursuit of Happyness” by Chris Gardner, adds depth and resonance to the trailer. The music acts as an emotional catalyst, evoking hope and optimism in the audience.

(Smith, 2006) mentioned the significance of the music in setting the tone and mood of the trailer, making it a memorable and emotionally charged experience for viewers.

Montage and Visual Storytelling

The trailer employs a montage of visually striking scenes that convey Chris Gardner’s journey effectively. Muccino incorporates quick cuts and visually captivating sequences to showcase the protagonist’s transformation from destitution to success. This visual storytelling technique not only engages the audience but also offers a glimpse of the film’s high production quality.

According to (Smith, 2006), Muccino’s adept use of visual storytelling elements makes the trailer visually compelling and leaves a lasting impression on the audience.

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