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Rhetoric: The “Stressed Out” Song by Twenty One Pilots

Introduction

Tyler, the band’s leader, wrote “Stressed Out,” claiming that “blurry face” reflects the person he is as a personality and the things the author feels uneasy about. Most of the official video was filmed at his childhood home, which is what the song says. Tyler added that one of the things at the back of his mind when he penned the composition was how to deal with his anxieties. The singer feels that how a person handles their doubts and worries can be quite detrimental; therefore, he wanted to figure out how to compensate for his own while he composed the song (Songfacts, 2021). This work was written for the purpose of rhetorical analysis of the song Twenty One Pilots’ “Stressed out.”

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Description

The song’s setting is a universe where idealism is demanded, leaving individuals uncomfortable about whether or not they belong. The author, who is from the United States, feels that they are not as attractive as they should be, which makes them feel uneasy. It is a society where appearances are greatly valued; leaving the writer and those in his listeners’ unsure if, they will fulfill others’ standards.

When an artwork is presented to the public, the audience expects the performers or composers to follow certain standards in order to fit into the overall context. In this aspect, the lyrics’ author states that they desire they had a greater singing voice and could rhyme smoother. It is evident that, despite their ability to sing, they believe they are not good enough, a feature that may cause them to fail to deliver to the listeners as well as they could. Likewise, there seems to be a lack of variety in what is sung, as he wishes to arrange some chords in a different order, suggesting that people lack creativity in their work. He also desires he did not have to sing in rhyme as most musicians do.

Furthermore, the backdrop is a world where children feel comfortable growing up in their mothers’ arms since the mothers’ shelters provide protection from all threats (Songfacts, 2021). Nevertheless, they are required to stand on their own and earn a living, as they grow older. They are stressed out because they lack the necessary abilities to do so, and the pressure appears to be too difficult to comprehend and outperform. It also depicts a moment when the family unit is in good working order since the song included numerous photographs of the parents and their children. There is also a financial drain, as evidenced by the promotional video, which shows the couple drinking milk and moaning about how tough things are. They are also trying to make ends meet, as seen by the lyrics.

Ethos

The writer establishes ethos in the lyrics and video by establishing trustworthiness and personality. According to Baumlin et al. (2018), “Aristotelian ethos describes a responsive, transactional model, there is one passage in the Rhetoric that, taken at face value, radically textualizes the speaker’s self-presentation” (p. 78). Despite their youth, authors reveal their parents in the song, allowing people of all ages to identify with them, according to Twenty One Pilots, “wish we could turn back time to the good old days” (2015). Furthermore, the same may be said of the lyrics, since the lyricist frequently references the mother’s trustworthiness in raising him in a safe environment. They also demonstrate reliability by being open about their fears and less-than-ideal financial situation. This demonstrates that they are genuine and do not attempt to present the reader with a picture of flawless people.

Logos

The use of logos is also obvious in the work, which appeals to logic. According to Twenty One Pilots, “when our momma sang us to sleep, but now we’re stressed out” (2015). The song demonstrates that individuals must get up at a certain age and search for work in order to survive. He illustrates that kids can no longer rely on their parents at this age, even if they desire, they could stay in their parents’ houses forever. The cause is also reflected in the world’s nervousness, with individuals worried that they would fall short of others’ standards.

Pathos

Pathos is strongly included in the song, as the composer and singers express and communicate their pain to the listener. According to Campbell (2018), “pathos is the mode that is the least agreed upon in the visualization community” (p. 13). They plead to compassion throughout the tale, as the writer demonstrates that life is not easy for him, as he struggles from poverty and hardship. He demonstrates that he must wake up and seek out his wants, which he indicates he does not always succeed in doing. He also claims to be insecure since he believes he is not attractive enough and has a fuzzy face. According to Twenty One Pilots, “sayin’, “Wake up, you need to make money!” yeah ” (2015). He expresses to the audience that he is stressed by his circumstances.

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Conclusion

The bulk of the song video was filmed in his childhood home. He went on to say that one of the things on his mind while he wrote the piece was how he copes with his concerns. He believes that how one manages doubts and anxieties may be quite harmful; therefore, he sought to figure out how to adjust for his own while writing the song. The song’s scenario is a realm where perfection is expected, making people question whether or not they belong. They are nervous because the author, who is from the United States, believes they are not as attractive as they should be. It is a culture where outward looks are highly prized, leaving the writer and those listening to him concerned if they would meet others’ expectations.

Works Cited

Baumlin, James S., and Craig A. Meyer. “Positioning ethos in/for the twenty-first century: An introduction to histories of ethos.” 2018. p. 78.

Campbell, Sarah. Feeling numbers the rhetoric of pathos in visualization. Diss. Northeastern University, 2018.

Songfacts. “Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots.” Songfacts.Com, Web.

Twenty One Pilots. “‘Stressed Out’.” Genius.com, Genius, 2015, Web.

Full Transcript of lyrics

[Verse 1]

I wish I found some better sounds no one’s ever heard

I wish I had a better voice that sang some better words

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I wish I found some chords in an order that is new

I wish I didn’t have to rhyme every time I sang

I was told, when I get older, all my fears would shrink

But now I’m insecure, and I care what people think

[Pre-Chorus]

My name’s Blurryface and I care what you think

My name’s Blurryface and I care what you think

[Chorus]

Wish we could turn back time to the good old days

When our momma sang us to sleep, but now we’re stressed out

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(Oh) Wish we could turn back time (Oh) to the good old days (Oh)

When our momma sang us to sleep, but now we’re stressed out

We’re stressed out

[Verse 2]

Sometimes a certain smell will take me back to when I was young

How come I’m never able to identify where it’s comin’ from?

I’d make a candle out of it, if I ever found it

Try to sell it, never sell out of it, I’d probably only sell one

It’d be to my brother, ’cause we have the same nose

Same clothes, homegrown, a stone’s throw from a creek we used to roam

But it would remind us of when nothing really mattered

Out of student loans and treehouse homes, we all would take the latter

[Pre-Chorus]

My-my-my name’s Blurryface and I care what you think

My name’s Blurryface and I care what you think

[Chorus]

Wish we could turn back time to the good old days

When our momma sang us to sleep, but now we’re stressed out

(Oh) Wish we could turn back time (Oh) to the good old days (Oh)

When our momma sang us to sleep, but now we’re stressed out

[Bridge]

We used to play pretend, give each other different names

We would build a rocket ship an’ then we’d fly it far away

Used to dream of outer space, but now they’re laughin’ at our face

Sayin’, “Wake up, you need to make money!,” yeah

We used to play pretend, give each other different names

We would build a rocket ship an’ then we’d fly it far away

Used to dream of outer space, but now they’re laughin’ at our face

Sayin’, “Wake up, you need to make money!,” yeah

[Chorus]

Wish we could turn back time to the good old days

When our momma sang us to sleep, but now we’re stressed out

(Oh) Wish we could turn back time (Oh) to the good old days (Oh)

When our momma sang us to sleep, but now we’re stressed out

[Outro]

We used to play pretend, used to play pretend, money

We used to play pretend, wake up, you need the money

Used to play pretend, used to play pretend, money

We used to play pretend, wake up, you need the money

Used to play pretend, give each other different names

We would build a rocket ship and then we’d fly it far away

Used to dream of outer space, but now they’re laughin’ at our face

Sayin’, “Wake up, you need to make money!,” yeah

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StudyCorgi. "Rhetoric: The “Stressed Out” Song by Twenty One Pilots." October 5, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/rhetoric-the-stressed-out-song-by-twenty-one-pilots/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Rhetoric: The “Stressed Out” Song by Twenty One Pilots." October 5, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/rhetoric-the-stressed-out-song-by-twenty-one-pilots/.

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