burkerhetoricofmotivesrdgquestions - Rhetorical Foundations...

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Rhetorical Foundations COMM 3300 Reading Questions: Burke I— Rhetoric of Motives (1950) Read Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric of Motives (originally published 1950), pp. xiii-xv, 17-29, 35-39, 43-46. In this work, Burke, operating largely as a literary critic, revives and extends rhetoric as a subject matter and source for interpretation (heuristic device). The reading is difficult, but rewarding in the end for the tools it offers. 1. Introduction: a. How does Burke expand the traditional domain of rhetoric? He introduces the concept of rhetoric used in places that one would not usually expect and the topic of identification that expands upon the idea of persuasion in rhetoric b. What is the “intermediary area of expression” Burke names (xiii)? Burke explains the concept of the intermediary area of expression as “not wholly deliberate, yet not wholly unconscious. It lies midway between aimless utterance and speech directly purposive” [xiii]. 2. “Imagery at Face Value”: a. What does Burke say about the functions of imagery for adolescents? Burke blames the media – particularly major motion productions, for distilling the imagery of brutality and murder as “the most noteworthy signs of action in an ideal or imaginary adult world” [p 17-18]. An adolescent that is eager to grow up views the excess amount of violence portrayed in movies and, Burke claims, by the time he is fifteen he has “’witnessed’ more violence than most soldiers or gunmen experience in a lifetime” [p 18]. As a result, the adolescent feels as though he or she has participated in all of the violence and relates the process of growing up to brutality and murder. In relation to rhetoric, this type of imagery affects the adolescents vocabulary in the sense that he or she is developing an awareness of him/herself along with a vocabulary – “and the images of brutality and violence provide such a vocabulary,
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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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burkerhetoricofmotivesrdgquestions - Rhetorical Foundations...

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