Publication details [#2719]

Boots-Marshall, Jennifer. 2005. Rhetorical transformations: The figurative language of the industrial revolution. Norman, Okla.. 248 pp.


This dissertation is an examination of the rhetoric and images used in the British industrial rhetoric of the mid-nineteenth century. This body of work encompasses the industrial novel as well as non-fiction works. This study discusses the implications bound up with rhetorically transforming laborers into hands, machines into gods from the Greco-Roman and Christian traditions, and the industrialist into the mythic figure of the self-made man. The final chapter examines the assumptions and contradictions in the rhetoric of the riot, which often involves sublime imagery. Author's basic thesis is that in the novels of this era rhetoric, through metaphors and imagery, imaginatively serves to erase social history and the scope of human responsibility and power. The more original aspect of author's thesis arises from her attention to the tensions and contradictions in the writers' attitudes and how these are imagistically regenerated. (Dissertation Abstracts)