Oedipus, Runaway Planes, and the Violence of the Scapegoat: A Burkean Analysis of Catharsis in the Rhetoric of Tragedy

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/193741
Title:
Oedipus, Runaway Planes, and the Violence of the Scapegoat: A Burkean Analysis of Catharsis in the Rhetoric of Tragedy
Author:
Kuroiwa-Lewis, Nathalie Marie
Issue Date:
2007
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
In this dissertation, I develop a theory of rhetorical catharsis and apply this theory primarily to George W. Bush's rhetoric of the War on Terror in Iraq. Contrary to the standard Aristotelian perspective of catharsis as the "purging of pity and fear" that brings relief and resolution to an audience, I turn to Kenneth Burke's claim that catharsis is tied to the scapegoating process and argue that catharsis is the purging and projection of one's trauma to a victim who serves as the sacrificial vessel for one's pain. I thus redefine catharsis as the purging of trauma that plays a key role in catharsis and leads to the victimage and scapegoating of the Other in language and public life.To explore how rhetorical catharsis functions in language use, I analyze the concept of a rhetorical catharsis through literature, presidential rhetoric, and print media and show how catharsis operates in the rhetoric of war, particularly that of President Bush's war on terror in Iraq. In addition to Kenneth Burke, I draw on scholars such as Rene Girard, Deborah Willis, Terry Eagleton, Robert Ivie, Allen Carter, Robert McChesney, and Bartholomew Sparrow, among many others. I argue that communities experiencing tragedy use language to name people and entire nations as the scapegoat for their ills.By understanding how language makes possible the victimage and scapegoating of vasts groups of people and even entire nations in times of national trauma, I offer ways of speaking about trauma that may help redirect the violent impulse of catharsis.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
catharsis; violence; scapegoat; Iraq; tragedy; Kenneth Burke
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
English; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Mountford, Roxanne

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleOedipus, Runaway Planes, and the Violence of the Scapegoat: A Burkean Analysis of Catharsis in the Rhetoric of Tragedyen_US
dc.creatorKuroiwa-Lewis, Nathalie Marieen_US
dc.contributor.authorKuroiwa-Lewis, Nathalie Marieen_US
dc.date.issued2007en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIn this dissertation, I develop a theory of rhetorical catharsis and apply this theory primarily to George W. Bush's rhetoric of the War on Terror in Iraq. Contrary to the standard Aristotelian perspective of catharsis as the "purging of pity and fear" that brings relief and resolution to an audience, I turn to Kenneth Burke's claim that catharsis is tied to the scapegoating process and argue that catharsis is the purging and projection of one's trauma to a victim who serves as the sacrificial vessel for one's pain. I thus redefine catharsis as the purging of trauma that plays a key role in catharsis and leads to the victimage and scapegoating of the Other in language and public life.To explore how rhetorical catharsis functions in language use, I analyze the concept of a rhetorical catharsis through literature, presidential rhetoric, and print media and show how catharsis operates in the rhetoric of war, particularly that of President Bush's war on terror in Iraq. In addition to Kenneth Burke, I draw on scholars such as Rene Girard, Deborah Willis, Terry Eagleton, Robert Ivie, Allen Carter, Robert McChesney, and Bartholomew Sparrow, among many others. I argue that communities experiencing tragedy use language to name people and entire nations as the scapegoat for their ills.By understanding how language makes possible the victimage and scapegoating of vasts groups of people and even entire nations in times of national trauma, I offer ways of speaking about trauma that may help redirect the violent impulse of catharsis.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectcatharsisen_US
dc.subjectviolenceen_US
dc.subjectscapegoaten_US
dc.subjectIraqen_US
dc.subjecttragedyen_US
dc.subjectKenneth Burkeen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairMountford, Roxanneen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHea, Amy Kimmeen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMcAllister, Kenen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberIvie, Roberten_US
dc.identifier.proquest2330en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659748201en_US
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