Date of Award
Master of Arts
Michael L. Keene
Russel Hirst, Mary Jo Reiff
This study presents a rhetorical analysis of the International Friendship Bell in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, with particular attention to how it relates to the World War II Manhattan Project. The rhetorical theories of identification, presence, and civic religion elucidated by Kenneth Burke, Chaїm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, and Gregory Clark, respectively, provide a theoretical amalgamation by which we can view and study the material object of the bell. As we use this combined theory to scaffold a rhetorical analysis of the bell, we discover several important ways in which the object of the bell, and its surrounding controversy, illustrate the theory. First, we discover that three distinct groups have experienced Burke’s notion of alienation, or separation, because of the development of the nuclear weapon. Each group, in an attempt to regain a sense of solidarity, attempts to use identification as a means of rebuilding the broken relationship. Meanwhile, each group illustrates Perelman’s and Olbechts-Tyteca’s idea of presence by including material that encourages identification, while omitting or underplaying information that might be harmful to the argument. Finally, each group exhibits Clark’s civic religion by attaching religious significance to the bell for rhetorical purposes.
Farley, Jamie Elizabeth, "A Costly Toll for Friendship: Material Rhetoric and the Oak Ridge International Friendship Bell. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2007.