In “The Rhetorical Situation,” Lloyd Bitzer describes what a rhetorical situation is and explains the components or elements of one. He states “it functions ultimately to produce action or change in the world; it performs’ some task” (Bitzer 3-4). Bitzer’s definition of rhetorical revolves around three elements exigence, audience, and constraints. An exigence is essentially an issue in the world that must be responded to, Bitzer writes “Any exigence is an imperfection marked by urgency; it is a defect, an obstacle, something waiting to be done, a thing which is other than it should be” (Bitzer 6). An audience is a group of people that can be persuaded or motivated to take action, and constraints which can be used to influence an audience. According to Bitzer “its made up of persons, events, objects, and relations which are parts of the situation because they have the power to constrain decision and action needed to modify the exigence.
One idea that intrigued me was the first characteristic. Bitzer states” Rhetorical discourse is called into existence by situation;
the situation which the rlietor perceives amounts to an. invitation to create and present discourse” (Bitzer 9). I interpreted this as Bitzer saying that you cannot fix a problem and provoke change if the issue doesn’t exist. I found this to be relatable to our world and real-life issues such as gun laws and immigration. Major protests only occur when recent school shootings happen, or in the case of immigration when info came to light about the cold-hearted treatment of migrant children in shelters.