Response to “Rhetoric and Competition”

Hutcheon was a very reliable narrator because of her professional background and impressive reputation. She started off with a clear admittance of a single mistake she made which allows the readers to gain a trust in her credibility and emphasizes how rarely she makes mistakes. She also used first person pronouns when expressing her own opinion. She clearly gives credit and states when she is referencing other people’s ideas. This is similar to Bateson’s article as the structure to share points are the same. They state their opinion and then use someone who has a very credible and impressive reputation to help back up their opinion. They both use a very wide range of topics such as biology and mythology to help convey their message to a very wide range of readers. The use of rhetorical questions helps Hutcheon persuade the readers while not taking away their option of free will and choosing options against the articles message.

Both Hutcheon and Bateson use the word competition as humans fighting to survive during Anthropocene. Bateson main message is about trying to eliminate competition between humans and trying to show how we should be united and working to survive as the Anthropocene age. The rough connections between both articles are very strong but when analyzing the main points we can see that the points themselves are very different, although the strategy to express the points are the same.

In Josiah’s post I found that we both agreed on “the wolfish apollo” being an incorrect choice to portray her point to the reader in the beginning of her article. Wolves being dominant animals that arguably control their communities shows the emphasis on how much power the word rhetoric has. Bateson disagreed with competition against each other. This can not be possible as Josiah said, “nature would indeed collapse on itself”. Bateson argued that even the most fundamental and microscopic organisms work together and without that, nothing would exist. Hutcheon’s main message was that competition can be destructive and I personally agree however nature still needs a little competition in order to keep social systems and institutions alive. Bateson’s main message was that we need to work together, when reading Hutcheon’s article I felt as if this was reinforcing Bateson’s message.

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  1. I also found great similarity between the two articles, but noticed that they way they present their ideas are different. Bateson uses tactics that present the general argument than uses general examples to support, versus Hutcheon who I think approaches presenting her ideas by walking the audience through the examples, and reinstating the main argument near the end. Do you believe that this form of presentation affects the audience in allowing the ideas be more persuasive and agreed with?


  2. Hello, thank you for such an insightful read.
    It is interesting how you pointed out that even though their main arguments are similar, the two authors have a different approaches in strategy.
    I also like how you brought up that nature would collapse on itself without a bit of competition because it shows how perhaps nature needs predator and prey to keep each population in check. I suppose this questions whether competition always has negative impact on society.


  3. Hi,
    I completely agree with you in saying the two authors share similar arguments but argue them in different ways; it makes me question which method is more effective. They both make their points clear and concise with arguments tailoring to their audience. I find that Bateson’s use of evidence was very relatable to a more general population but like you said, Hutcheon did a great job guiding the readers while not restricting or taking away from their free will. In both articles the authors are not very supportive of competition because they find cooperation a more innovative way to live in Anthropocene. When I was reading Hutcheon’s article and the wolfish behaviours that we have developed over the years I immediately thought about the selfish behaviour discussed in Bateson’s article. It is interesting reading your point in disagreeing with this analogy and relating it to the influence of rhetoric.


  4. Hi,
    I definitely can see how Hutcheon and Bateson may be delivering the same message about the Anthropocene. Both would most likely be seen as reliable by their audience since they make sure that their topics are relevant, as they pull evidence from sources that focus on the respective field on with their audience also studies, especially when it comes to competition. They also display how their sources are credible since the authorities from which they draw their information from are observed to be reliable in their fields. Also, they both acquire the attention of their audiences through rhetoric questions and including information from those which those researchers are already are familiar with, but draw it into their points. This can be effective since they brought out their own evidence, and portrayed the normative structures on which the audience agrees on, and brings them together to make their claim. I can also see how the use of comparing the environment to a wolfish atmosphere because although wolves are “dominant”, they are very cooperative in their respective clans. However, I can see how competition can be fostered since tribalism does lead to competition amongst various collectives.


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