November 18, 2012

Keller a rhetorical theorist, or not?


Since this week I am a discussion leader I feel that it makes the most sense to explain how much the term ecriture feminine relates to tonight reading. My term, to sum it up, is a woman feminist who carries with her the importance of language, and how the term language basically provides meaning to words only through a male’s viewpoint of the world. That is why I found it interesting that on the first page they somehow find a way to relate the strides between Keller and Burke. In my opinion relating the two in some way made sense since they both sought to make radical changes, and fought for socialism by creating identification. Even though, this is true I felt that it was against what Keller, as feminist activist would have liked. I only say this because if we are to look through the woman’s perspective of the word which my term calls us to do we would see that although, Keller was not a self proclaimed theorist she was deeply involved with the connection between language, individual minds, and the social world.

Where I see the biggest difference between the two theorists is represented in Burke’s argument of being born with in. The theory says to make yourself so identifiable with the audience so that you may be able to relate your ways/ values with the audience’s. He gives the example that if you want to take action amongst republicans you must then become a republican. But there is no way a man can become a women so in a way making the two theorists’ experiences throughout history vastly different.

The next thing that was really intriguing to me was the fact that other writers found it ”strangely disturbing” that Keller had mastered what Burke would call the art of performance.  They felt that her reality was more linguistic than actually authentic, but when people like our president talk about their knowledge of starving children in Kenya do we question what part of the speech is artificial? Or is it possible that Keller can equally relate to the senses she has been deprived of just as much as our president can relate to a starving child? Also that Burke even questions what we mean by ”reality”. The conclusion also helps to wrap up that the scope of modern rhetorical theory is practically exclusively male. Bringing attention to women’s writing. 

2 comments:

Zack Morris said...

That quote that you mention in your article about if you want to take action amongst republicans than just become one made so much sense to me as I read it. Almost like infiltrate the system by becoming apart of it. But I never thought about it from the other side of the argument. There are some instances where that just wouldn't work. I cant just become a woman.

Megan Conner said...

I also found the critique that Keller was met with interesting. People did not think that she could understand the world because she could not see it for herself, she had to base her reality on what other people told her through text. Her counter point to this however was that is how many people learn about the world. She stated that she has never been a "captain of industry" or a "soldier," but neither have a lot of people. She made a very valid point about how many other people achieved their realities about the unfamiliar world in the same way that she did, through text and discourse.

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