Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Rhetorical criticism focusing on Norman Rockwell's paintings of the "Four Freedoms" provides reasons for the paintings' effectiveness within the context of Franklin Roosevelt's campaign to educate Americans about participation in World War II. The epideictic icons in Rockwell's paintings promoted identifications that constitute the tenets of a conjoined religious and political perspective. Rockwell's method of establishing these identifications had at least three salient characteristics: (1) he based the identifications upon institutionalized American values that represented focal points for American unity; (2) he utilized images that traditionally were intimately associated with people and scenes within the institutions in order to establish identification with respect to those institutions; and (3) within these images, Rockwell provided productive ambiguities that enabled him to fuse symbols from different people and scenes, thereby broadening the range of symbols with which the viewer could identify. (RL)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Chicago, IL, April 9-11, 1981).