Essay about Rhetorical Analysis of Walter White

Words: 1100
Pages: 5

Nick L’Italien
Ms. McClain
English 123
January 29, 2013
A Split Personality – Morals Against Corruption

With reality shows taking over airtime nowadays, psychological thrillers in television are a rare genre. Admittedly, it can be a tasking genre to develop a show around, but Vince Gilligan has managed to create, quite possibly one of the greatest shows ever, Breaking Bad. In the pilot episode, the audience was introduced to Walter White, a middle-aged high school Chemistry teacher. He sounds like an average, typical man, but he was introduced in the most peculiar way. Gilligan opened this award-winning show with Walter, underwear-clad, holding a pistol, next to a crashed R.V. in the middle of the desert. The audience questioned
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Gilligan has managed to pull his audience into his story so deeply that even so soon into the series, this was a cringe worthy scene. Hearing those words uttered from Walter’s mouth, especially after such an effort to conceal the events that had transpired, was horrifying. It was obvious this new life of crime was affecting Walt’s psyche. He became more violent, more easily aggravated, and most importantly, more dedicated to his new second life. A good example of this personality transition was shown in the ending scene from Season 2, Episode 10, “Over.” In this scene Walter was at the hardware store and happens upon a pair of amateur meth cooks trying to purchase the necessary supplies. He drops everything he was doing follows them to outside the store, approaches the two burly men, and demands that they stay out of his territory. This shows Gilligan’s use of pathos portraying Walter’s psychological transformation beginning to reveal itself. His second persona, Heisenberg, begins to truly affect him and, in turn, his loved ones. This was strongly prevalent as the Gilligan progresses the series, showing how Walter’s psyche has begun to crack. Once Walter has revealed his secret profession to Skylar, and as expected, she begins to fear for their family’s lives. In a scene much later in the series’ story, Skylar professes this fear to Walter. She tells him, “Walter, please, let’s stop trying to justify this whole thing and admit we’re in