ERIC Number: ED186972
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Thomas Paine's "Common Sense": A Study in Polarity.
Thomas Paine's "Common Sense," published in 1776, was a significant rhetorical event, having a polarizing effect on a situation marked by confusion and conflicting loyalties, in which prevailing views favored reconciliation of the American colonies with England. Paine's rhetoric intensified the conflict, forcing a cognitive restructuring of the context by placing two opposing forces in wholly contrary positions. Rhetorically, "Common Sense" moved from a discussion of current loyalty affiliations to a denial of those loyalties and through a conflict process in order to achieve the end of independence. Available alternatives were restructured into two mutually opposed options. The subverted group was hyperbolized in strength and motive, forcing a readjustment of power and motives within the opposing affirmed group. All those who were not in support of the affirmed image were relegated to the subverted group and discursively eliminated. (DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Paine (Thomas)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (65th, San Antonio, TX, November 10-13, 1979).