burkeperm&changerdgquestions - Rhetorical Foundations...

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Rhetorical Foundations COMM 3300 Reading Questions: Burke I— Permanence and Change (1935) Read Kenneth Burke, Permanence and Change (originally published 1935), pp. 5-14, 50-52, 175- 178. This is a book written in the midst of the Great Depression, with the awareness that there was a great variety of people and ways of life around him, and the belief that traditional ways of doing things were contributing to the difficulties and moral/political confusions of the time (which saw, among other things, the rise of fascism in Europe, the solidification of communism in the Soviet Union, and the broad questioning of capitalism around the world). Though he doesn’t use the term ‘rhetoric’ explicitly, his observations have important implications for the understanding and practice of rhetoric in its modern contexts. 1. Read pp. 5-14 all the way through, then, blending quotes from Burke with your own interpretation of them, answer the following questions: a. What does Burke mean by an “orientation”? What effects do orientations have? Burke comes to the conclusion that orientation “forms the basis of expectancy – for character telescopes the past, present, and future… (orientation is) thus a bundle of judgments as to how things were, how they are, and how they may be.” [p 14]. He distinguishes between trained incapacity and orientation in that orientation plays an important role in influencing an individual’s judgment of likeness. An individual will experience several situations that affect how he or she perceives similar events in the future. Those experiences accumulate to shape and create each individual’s specific orientation and will be used to compare in present situations that affect and influence his or her judgment and perceptions. Burke further illustrates the concept of orientation by explaining the work of Pavlov in relation to the linkage of two factors due to conditioning. He concludes with an application of orientation in a broader sense in that when “like” situations occur along with new factors, one’s accumulated orientation will affect his or
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2009 for the course COMM 3300 taught by Professor Vogelaar,a during the Summer '08 term at Colorado.

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burkeperm&changerdgquestions - Rhetorical Foundations...

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