Developing Symbols: In General (Continuation V)
Burke became a troublesome person to the Hoover economists in the 1930s. He was troublesome because his analyses of their economic symbols challenged them. They made it hard for him to find a teaching job after his challenge of the causes of the depression. In the 193o, the new teachings of RKO movie studios in Hollywood were in agreement with the thoughts of Burke. But, RKO’s thoughts bothered Senator McCarthy and his Washingtonian friends. During McCarthy’s search for communists in the USA, Burke and RKO were wrongly thought to be communists.
With the appearance of the words of Hitler in Mein Kampf in the 1930s, Burke prophesied Hitler’s political moves from Hitler’s words. With his analyses, he predicted the Jewish Holocaust. Since Americans did not believe his prediction, the Holocaust became a reality. Obviously, the language of humans offers us new ways to examine human behavior.
To link the literary field to the fields of science and theology, we must connect the highly precise symbols of the fields of science and theology to the spiritual-like thoughts developed in the literary field. For instance, Burke argues that poetry (1) can create praise from others; (2) can reveal God’s revelations through one’s increased wisdom; and (3) can lead to a catharsis by purging one’s fear, tension, emotions, and develop a spiritual renewal. Following Plato, Burke believes that negation is a means to identify positives. To identify phenomena, one must thus develop ‘interest’ in something first. Plato’s interest in his own hand led him to learn that the opposites, long and short, exist in the fingers.
Below are some of Burke’s writings. I include the books by Heath and Rueckert. They are very familiar with the work of Burke.
1. Burke, Kenneth, "Counter-Statement (1931);" Berkeley: University of California Press (1968).
2. Burke, Kenneth, "Permanence and Change (1935);" The New Republic, Inc. (1936).
3. Burke, Kenneth, "Attitudes Towards History (1937);" University of California Press 3rd Edition (1984).
4. Burke, Kenneth, "The Philosophy of Literary Form (1941);" University of California Press (Third Edition, 1973).
5. Burke, Kenneth, "A Grammar of Motives (1945);" Berkeley: University of California Press (1969).
6.Burke, Kenneth, "A Rhetoric of Motives (1950);" Berkeley: University of California Press (1969).
7.Burke, Kenneth, "A Rhetoric of Religion (1961);" Berkeley: University of California Press (1970)..
8. Burke, Kenneth, "Language and Symbolic Action;" Berkeley: University of California Press (1968).
9. Burke, Kenneth, "Dramatism and Development;" Barre MA: Clark University Press (1972).
10. Heath, Robert L., "Realism and Relativism: A Perspective on Kenneth Burke;" Mercer University Press (1986).
11. Rueckert, William H., "Kenneth Burke and the Drama of Human Relations;" University of California Press, 2nd Edition (1982).