September 17, 2012

Rhetorical relation and Campbell's Theory

The most interesting articles of the semester so far, at least to me, have been the Campbell and Heilbrun pieces. The idea that Campbell presents, the notion that a women's  siterature or a women's agency, can stem from an already established rhetorical genre or agency is much more plausible than an entire entire women's rhetorical movement that comes from nothing. I could not help but link this "constrained agency" to African-American literature. African-Americans ccreated a literature, an agency, from the confinement and constrain of an oppressive context and used that context to blossum. If a heirarchy is in place and a dominant ideolgy is in poace that is oppresive to the groups that are not in power, those groups that are not in power can create their own ways of gaining power frpm qithin their constraints. I believe this is why Campbell referenced "the Pheonix."

I once learnedof the "trickster" archtype in slave folktales. This "trickster" would gain power, relieve themselves, if only for the a moment, of the oppresive gestires and actions committed by their overseerers, and satisfy themselves by essentially "playing stupid." If the slave master ordered a garden hose or rake, a slave would fetch a plow just to inconvenience the slave master and waste his time. It was a tongu-in-cheek approach to prove t themselves that they still had some power over their own lives. Eventually I after so many mistakes, the slave master would get fed up and order some other slave to fetch the hose or rake he wanted. To me, that's a form of power within itself. Finding satisfaction in something regardless of the constrains is just as powerful, if not more powerful than crrating a power from scratch. I beliebe that is what Campbell believes about women's rhetoric. The constrains are already in place, why not blossum from the oppression?

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