Everybody Loves Raymond

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Why doesn't everyone hate Raymond? He's a mama's boy, lazy, and not very attractive. One would wonder why anybody in their right mind would give a guy like this his own television series. Using a couple of Kenneth Burke's theories, cause-to-effect reasoning, and cognitive dissonance theory, I will find out just why people can't get enough of the show Everybody Loves Raymond. Using Kenneth Burke's approach to language use, we find that the show makes a very strong attempt to connect with its audience members. Burke believes that the sharing of an identity is equivalent to persuasion. "Persuaders create identification by referring to shared substances—preferred beliefs, lifestyles, and values" (Larson, 2001). With this is mind it is quite apparent that Everybody Loves Raymond is trying to identify middleclass families who live in the suburbs.

There are many example's of Burke's theory at work in the show… too many to list them all. I have decided to focus on two of these examples. The first is the strong family values that are presented in the show. The way the show is presented actually gives audiences different styles of families so that the audience has more of an opportunity to find something they would recognize in their own family. Raymond and Debra are a middle-aged married couple who represent a more modern nuclear family where the husband helps around the house and the wife handles finances. The idea is that either member does what they're good at to help out the family. Marie and Frank are Ray's parents who live across the street. They represent a more old-fashioned couple. Marie cooks and Frank eats and complains. Aside from their differences both family styles are very loving as well as very relatable.

Along with the values, the lifestyles the characters lead are actually quite relatable. Again, there are differences among the characters in order to appeal to a wider range of people, as well as...
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