Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Kenneth Burke--1897-1993., Kurt Vonnegut., Mathematical recreations.
Although Kenneth Burke originally theorized language as symbolic action and Dramatism with literary analysis in mind, he remains unthought of by literary scholars. With the aim of reclaiming Dramatism for literary analysis, I grapple with Fredric Jameson’s criticisms of Burke in order to show how Dramatism maintains potential for productive literary analysis, particularly in regard to ideology. In doing so, I apply Burke’s Dramatistic method to a series of Kurt Vonnegut novels in order to investigate the similarities between Burke and Vonnegut as well as to demonstrate a fruitful literary analysis by way of Burke’s method.Though their writings differ generically, Burke and Vonnegut notably assert strikingly similar positions on the nature of language as motive through logology. This experiment with Burke and Vonnegut reveals the nature of their similarities as a bent toward pragmatism while also demonstrating the revelatory capacity of this rhetorical approach to literary analysis.
Johnson, Eryn, "From logology to dramatism : Kenneth Burke and Kurt Vonnegut as critical companions" (2017). Theses. 219.