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Introduction to Rhetorical Studies - Essay Example

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Symbols can be used for practical purposes or for absolute joy. A person can use symbols to earn a living or because he wants to…
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Introduction to Rhetorical Studies
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Instruction: Task: Symbolic action Symbolism means all systems of communication that rely on symbols; it also means using an action in representation or suggestion of something else. Symbols can be used for practical purposes or for absolute joy. A person can use symbols to earn a living or because he wants to exercise his ability to use them. Symbolism is inbuilt in the very texture of human life. Language itself is an example of a symbol that is used in our daily lives. For example, a rose may be used to symbolize the Virgin Mary. Flowers are delicate and short-lived, but they are used as a symbol of many things, a whole bouquet can symbolize affection, virtue, religious steadfastness and transience. This essay will examine an example of a symbolic action, identify the audiences, and identify the second and the third persona show what the audience agency is.
Language can be used as a symbol Kenneth Burke gives an example where while in class he saw a bird flying up in order to get out of a room. This action of the bird flying up in order to get out is due to tropisms; although the windows were open the bird kept flying nervously about the ceiling. The windows were high, they extended almost to the ceiling; yet the bird kept trying to escape by batting against the ceiling rather than dipping down and flying out of one the open windows (4). This particular bird’s instinct was to escape by flying up; hence it ignored the easy exit through the windows. Burke imagines how different things would be if the bird could speak his language. A simple statement would have served to solve the problem. Fly down just a foot and out one of those windows would have solved the problem if the bird could hear the language of human beings this shows how symbolic language can be.
Burke gives another example where a bird uses the principle of leverage as an improved method for Unnesting or de birding a Nest but it cannot spread the information to other birds because of lack of language to communicate the invention and make it spread throughout all birddom. Man is considered to be a symbol-using animal; he clings to a kind of naïve verbal realism that refuses to realize the full extent of the role played by symbolicity in his notions of reality (Burke, 5). The second persona in the example of the bird is the reader because he is the one representing the pronoun ‘you’. The third persona is the bird because it because it is the one used to depict the pronoun they. The audience agency in the examples of symbolism above is to show clearly how symbolic language can be.
The combination of symbols about the past combined with whatever things we may know mainly through maps, magazines, newspapers, helps to understand the present better. Language as a simple helps people to rely various messages in their daily lives. Thus a language helps a lot in problem-solving. Without a language communication, would have been very difficult and hence no development at all. Symbolism is an important part of speech because it helps people to use certain symbols to pass valuable information

Works cited
Burke, Kenneth. Language as symbolic action: Essays on life, literature, and method. University of California Press, 1966. Read More
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