Literature Discussion

1.Find a video of a political ad for a state or national candidate in the recent US election–choose an ad from a candidate you are sympathetic with. Then carefully analyze the logic of the ad [post a link to the ad].

2. Kenneth Burke says communication always reflects, selects, and reflects; that is, we choose words and images that present a version of events that lines up with our beliefs, goals or purposes. That is, the “whole truth” of a human situation is always more complicated than any particular description of it.

3. How exactly does the ad “select”; that is, use words and images to persuade us?

4. What ideas or perspectives does the ad “deflect”; that is, what’s left out? How are ideas presented in incomplete or possibly misleading ways? What do you think of ads that do this? Obviously it’s fair to promote a point of view you believe in; how do we know when the line has been crossed and persuasion goes too far?

5. Finally, what image of the United States do you think this reflects/presents to the rest of the world?

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