November 19, 2012
Burke & Keller
I had never considered Helen Keller to be a rhetorical theorist but this was an interesting article. Burke is without question a rhetorical theorist because of the immense work he has contributed to the field and the questions he has risen and explanations he's provided. However, seeing Keller as one is less clear, though after being explained, justifiable. Both Burke and Keller have provided a sort of call-to-action to audiences and readers in which they've encountered, to question things and to seek genuine knowledge about all situations and angels. I also like that in this article the side of Helen Keller that is most often portrayed is almost shattered. While everyone knows her as a blind, deaf, little girl they often forget about the contributions she's offered to the world in her political activism and her feministic perspective. She is not a weakling begging to be coddled and held but a woman acting on the world and making powerful movements towards greater goals. She offers insight and questions that might not have otherwise been accredited to the cause and uses language to express those ideas. I believe a rhetorical theorist's job is to question and attempt to understand not only language but beliefs, purposes and public interpretation of their cause; in the way Burke has done that in his long career of writing, so too does Keller.