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Rhetorical Analysis of "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People

By Dana Mangifico G100 Intro to Communication Studies
by

Dana Mangifico

on 10 October 2012

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Transcript of Rhetorical Analysis of "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People

By Dana Mangifico Rhetorical Analysis of Pumped Up Kicks Mark Foster explained the song's meaning to Spinner UK:

"'Pumped Up Kicks' is about a kid that basically is losing his mind and is plotting revenge. He's an outcast. I feel like the youth in our culture are becoming more and more isolated. It's kind of an epidemic. Instead of writing about victims and some tragedy, I wanted to get into the killer's mind... I love to write about characters. That's my style. I really like to get inside the heads of other people and try to walk in their shoes."

From http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=22941 For such a catchy, up-beat tune, it's rather morbid... Mark Foster, the lead singer and lyricist of Foster the People, has placed us in the mind of a would-be school shooter so that we may better understand what makes him tick. A Strange Form of Transcendence Metonymy is when something is "reduced" to a representative part or symbol.The kids with the "pumped-up kicks" are those who wear Reebok Pumps, or back in the 90's they would have been the kids of well-off parents who likely teased this boy. We also see use of Metonymy We find use of Metaphor... The boy speaking to his cigarette saying "you must have lost your wits" is a metaphor for himself, he is the one who has gone crazy. Foster also demonstrates use of Enthymeme Given the obvious violent tendencies this kid has, what do you think he means when he says "Daddy's bringing me a surprise 'cause dinner's in the kitchen and it's packed in ice"? Even the repetitive nature of the chorus can be a rhetorical device... This is an example of Climax, where the band uses repetition and rhythm to add to the intense feelings we sense that this kid has. To conclude, I feel that Mark Foster accomplished what he set out to do: to make a song with impact and meaning that we can still dance to! Questions or Comments? Written and Performed by Foster the People The Mind of a Killer But how effective was he?
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