The Rhetoric of Redemption: Kenneth Burke's Redemption Drama and Martin Luther King JR. 'S 'I Have a Dream' Speech / Edition 1

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Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech has become an icon of American public culture, its imagery and words profoundly influencing the civil rights debate. In The Rhetoric of Redemption Bobbitt applies Kenneth Burke's theory of guilt-purification-redemption in a close, critical analysis of the speech, developing and examining the implications of Burke's redemption drama in contemporary public discourse. He studies the impact of the speech over time, arguing that, while King's speech contains an inspirational vision of national redemption, it does so by omitting the real difficulties of overcoming America's racial divisions.

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Editorial Reviews

KB Journal
This is a compelling book that productively advances Kenneth Burke's theories of symbolic action, guilt-purification-redemption, and the legacy of MLK, Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech for civil rights discourse in this country. Wonderfully produced ... Bobbitt's arguments are consistent, well presented, and judicious.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742529274
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 2/20/2004
  • Series: Communication, Media, and Politics Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 156
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

David A. Bobbitt is associate professor of communication at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 1 Context and Critical Methodologies Chapter 2 2 Agent and Scene Chapter 3 3 Act: The Redemption of the Audience's Guilt Chapter 4 4 Purification and Redemption Chapter 5 5 Metaphoric Analysis Chapter 6 6 Evaluation of the Theory of Guilt-Purification-Redemption Chapter 7 7 Evaluation of "I Have a Dream" and Its Legacy Chapter 8 8 Conclusion Chapter 9 References Chapter 10 Index Chapter 11 About the Author

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