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Totally Punk Rhetorical Analysis of American Idiot

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Hannah Sellmyer

on 13 November 2013

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Transcript of Totally Punk Rhetorical Analysis of American Idiot

Totally Punk Rhetorical Analysis of: American Idiot by Green Day
Metonymy
Metonoymy is used quite often in the song. It's when a figure of speech replaces the name of an object, person, or idea with which something is associated. Here are some examples.

"All across the alien nation." (America is being referenced.)

"Well maybe I'm the faggot America." (The hippie, punk, free spirit community is being referenced.)

This is used to make the listener think about what the media is doing to change how people view certain aspects of the culture.
Anaphora
Anaphora is used in this song right in the beginning.

"Don't wanna be an American idiot
Don't wanna nation under the new media"

This is really the essence of this song, that they don't want to listen to the media or be involved in the fear base of people who do. The anaphora pushes this by repeating that this is something that they
don't want
.
Allusion
This entire song is an allusion to the war on terror and the media's influence on it. It is especially prevalent in lyrics such as:

"Welcome to a new kind of tension
All across the alien nation
Where everything isn't meant to be okay"

It is used to make the listener aware of how exaggeration changes the way people view things that would otherwise be tolerable without the media's involvement.
Full transcript