This photograph of Dr. Zbigniew Religa was taken after a 23 hour heart transplant, depicting a tired Religa watching the vital signs of his patient. As a doctor in Poland, a country that believed heart transplantation to be impossible, he was against the majority in deciding to try the transplant once given the okay in August of 1987. When he finished successfully, and the patient felt better than ever, he was the first to accomplish this in his country.
“I never let him out of my sight, never turned my back on him,” he says. “This was the payoff.” (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/100best/multi4_interview.html)
Religa was also the Head of Cardiovascular Surgery Clinic in Zabrze. The patient’s name was Tadeusz Zitkevits and he actually went on to outlive the doctor, who had lung cancer from his habit of cigarette smoking, proving the surgery’s success. National Geographic released this photo as one of the 100 most important pictures in history after American photographer James Lee Stanfilnt captured it. Stanfilnt was originally looking for an image that would show the critical state of Poland’s free health-care system, and he had bonded with Religa while being a quiet being in the surgeon’s operating room. Both the patient and the photographer attended Religa’s funeral in 2009.
Things that make the image have more meaning, help to narrate a story, and add drama:
- Religa’s colleague sleeping in the corner
- Blood on the ground
- Mess of tangled cables
- Outdated equipment
- Dimmed lighting
- Subject still on surgical table unconscious
- Small, unprofessional looking room
- Looks like the “calm after the storm”
- Gaze- no one is looking at the camera, two are unconscious and the other seems to be preoccupied and unconcerned with the photographer
George, the kisser, and his now wife, Rita, were on a date to the movies when they found out that the Japanese had surrendered. George, then 22, was a Navy quartermaster on leave from the Pacific. He apparently had seen a lot of action, he said, and was nervously waiting to go back. Leaving the theater, beaming, they went to a bar where George and Rita drank. They went to Times Square, and when George saw a women in a nurse’s outfit he remembered watching with awe as the nurses worked on the patients of war, so he kissed her. The woman he kissed was actually a dentist assistant, named Greta, and George said he was too drunk to even remember the kiss. Rita said she was never upset about it!
The photo was originally conceived as a magical fleeting kiss, showing the happiness of winning the war. Today, we know that the woman, Greta, did not actually like the kiss nor was she a nurse. The photo became an icon for how differently the story was viewed then versus what the actual truth behind it was.
This photograph brings your eyes straight to the kiss as the center of the photo. This is a moment that is stopped in time amongst several people moving in the background. The people in the photograph seem to see the kiss as well and take note of it. The sailor and nurse outfit help to create meaning for the photo- that it is of two people involved in war celebrating the fact that it is over.
Reverends Frazier and King
In a short rhetorical reflection I will focus on the ideas that Rev. John Frazier brought to the table during the time that he spoke today during the performance. He began his speech with an introduction to what he was going to talk about and a background on himself. Frazier incorporated information on the time period as well as on information of his personal encounters with what was happening. By doing this, and sharing that if we google his name we could learn more information, he gained credibility. This can be identified as an ethos appeal.
One major trend I saw in his speaking was his inclination to use repetition to emphasize ideas and phrases. For example, he said “Ultimately _____ will not stand,” over and over, filling in the blank with different points. This drew my attention because I thought it must be important if he kept repeating it. Secondly, he had a similar repetitive strategy with the phrase “we have a right to ___.” Finally, he repeated the idea of change – change in our minds and environment – by explaining different ways to get to this, repeating the idea through different wording.
Frazier’s talk was full of personal experiences which evoked pathos from the audience in feelings of sympathy and being upset with what we are hearing. One story which he keened in on was when he was taken to jail where he was beaten and bloody. After this, they poured whiskey into his wounds. This personal story highlights the agony and suffering he went through. No one would say that this event was “okay” or “justified,” which is why it so easily evokes feelings of sympathy.
Finally, toward the end of his speech he made an allusion to God through a scripture from the Christian Bible. It was here that he told us that we are all created to be special and that we can all make a difference.
In Frazier’s speech alone there was an abundance of rhetoric which helped to make the speech run smoothly and persuasively. I learned more about what African Americans had to go through during this time and how unwilling the government was to step in and help.