Application of Rhetorical Methodologies
Research in progress for SPCH 1311: Introduction to Speech Communication
Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Warren
The following essay is a rhetorical criticism written as the final project for the Collin College Honors Introduction to Speech Communication course. This student’s essay utilizes Fantasy Theme Analysis to explore the rhetorical choices of H.P. Lovecraft in his short story Celephaïs. By examining the characters, settings, and actions within the narrative, both in isolation and in relation to each other, Lovecraft’s rhetorical vision is elucidated. Moreover, this essay analyzes if and how group cohesiveness is achieved via a process coined by Ernest Bormann as “symbolic convergence.” In this rhetorical analysis, the term “fantasy” is utilized, but not in the traditional sense. In this particular methodology, the term refers to what Sonja Foss calls a “creative and imaginative interpretation of events” by a group of people. The method used in the essay stems in part from Robert Bales’ previous work on small group interaction.
The creation of this essay came after months of small group class research regarding benchmark components of more than a dozen traditional rhetorical methods including, among others, Neo-Aristotelian, Ideological, Pentadic, and Narrative analyses. Sonja Foss’ Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice, a seminal text for many collegiate Introduction to Rhetorical Methods courses, served as the primary text of the class. At the conclusion of the semester, students chose one of the methods and applied it to a text of their choice. The following essay is an exceptional example of the work produced in the class.
Burke, Spencer J.
"Where the Sea Meets the Sky: A Fantasy-Theme Analysis of H.P. Lovecraft's Celephaïs,"
Quest: Vol. 5, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.collin.edu/quest/vol5/iss1/2