Journal Article Critique-“The Presence of the Present: Hijacking ‘The Good War’?”
In the journal article critique “The Presence of the Present: Hijacking ‘Hijacking ‘The Good War’?” the authors, V. William Balthrop, Carole Blair, and Neil Michel, critique the WWII Memorial, which was opened up to the public in 2004. They state clearly in their thesis that “[They] contend that the Memorial’s rhetoric affirms contemporary U.S. imperialism under the revered sign of World War II, ‘speaking’ more about the present than about the past. [They] argue that this interpretation forwards important issues for memory studies, about assessing the ethical and political legitimacy of particular renditions of the past in the present”(Balthrop, Blari, Michel 1). But how exactly did the authors come to these conclusions? Well, simply put, they analyzed the rhetoric of the dedication ceremony in order to do so.
The authors assert that the only reason they believe they can interpret the memorial and the many seemingly unrelated symbols to begin with is through the “event of its dedication”, and they “attend to it as the principal epideictic, present-focused vehicle for interpreting the Memorial”(Balthrop, Blari, Michel 2). They argue that without analyzing the dedication ceremony (as many of the other critics failed to do, thus yielding unsatisfactory critiques), the monument and its many symbols come off as illegible and inchoate, but with it, the authors are able to rationalize, as they see, the underlying meanings and motives behind the WWIIM. Another rhetoric that the authors point out without necessarily stating, is how the government used pathos trying to evoke patriotism by connecting WWII with the present day Iraq War, and War on Terror as a whole, trying to evoke the American ideology within the citizens of fighting for freedom
The way the authors organized their message, the structure, is quite important as well. The article’s design is set up in an easy to follow...
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