+ All Categories
Home > Documents > Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The...

Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The...

Date post: 03-Apr-2018
Category:
Upload: lamminh
View: 217 times
Download: 1 times
Share this document with a friend
13
Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the Unconscious Author(s): Roy Ambrester Source: Philosophy & Rhetoric, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Fall, 1974), pp. 205-216 Published by: Penn State University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40236908 . Accessed: 15/03/2011 03:10 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at . http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=psup. . Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]. Penn State University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Philosophy & Rhetoric. http://www.jstor.org
Transcript
Page 1: Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much ... Expérience with tendentious

Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the UnconsciousAuthor(s): Roy AmbresterSource: Philosophy & Rhetoric, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Fall, 1974), pp. 205-216Published by: Penn State University PressStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40236908 .Accessed: 15/03/2011 03:10

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unlessyou have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and youmay use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.

Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at .http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=psup. .

Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printedpage of such transmission.

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected].

Penn State University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Philosophy& Rhetoric.

http://www.jstor.org

Page 2: Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much ... Expérience with tendentious

Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the Unconscious

Roy Ambrester

In Language as Symbolic Action, Kenneth Burke has presented his view of the unconscious by controverting the Freudian termi-

nology through transposition to the reahn of the symbolic. Burke's own explanation is sometimes lost in the shuffle of his penchant for tergiversation, hence Burke's brilliant conceptu- alization of the unconscious in terms of the "five dogs" is lost to many who seek compréhension of the phenomenon. Risking oversimplification this article seeks to explicate the Burkeian con- cept through an expanded explanation of Burke's "five dogs."

This particular aspect of Burke's writing has been largely ignored by rhetoricians. Yet within Burke's view of the uncon- scious rests some of his most intriguing concepts concerning rhetorical processes, and even though Burke's primary concern in this area rests in the realm of Symbolic, the realm of Rhetoric is equally significant as explained by Burke's Student Hugh Dun- can. Duncan states:

While Burke places the individuai under the head of the Symbolic, and thè social under that of Rhetoric, he is careful to stress that such catégories as "individuai" and

"society" meet in rhetoric when we consider the relation-

ship between thè speaker and his audience.1

It is of utmost importance that the rhetorician understand Burke's concepts of the unconscious, for they are in essence pro- paedeutic to compréhension of Burke's rhetorical theory. Burke makes this clear in the following Statement:

. . . The key term for the 'old' rhetoric was 'persuasion' and its stress was upon deliberative design. The key term for the 'new' rhetoric would be identification which can include a partially 'unconscious' factor in appeal.2

Mr. Ambrester is Chairman of the Department of Oral Communication, Howard Payne College.

Philosophy 6- Bhetoric, Vol. 7, No. 4 (1974). Published by The Pennsyl- vania State University Press, University Park, Pa. and London.

205

Page 3: Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much ... Expérience with tendentious

206 KENNETH BURKE's VIEW OF THE UNCONSCIOUS

In relatìng identification to thè unconscious it is apparent that Burke's concept inherently must contain identification, for as Burke points out, "... A second strain of identification is found in thè individuai as he seeks identification with his own audience for moralistic or incantatory purposes."3 In other words, Burke's idea of the unconscious views man as the actor dramatizing his rôle f unction to himself as a means of justifying whatever courses of action he chooses in his drama of human expérience.

Burke's major postulation concerning the unconscious résides in his view of self as a process of "becoming" through identifica- tion within. Hence the recurring Burkeian motif of identification forms the basis through which the processes of the unconscious are viewed.

Understanding Burke's concept of identification at the level of self requires examining Burke's view of the self. For Burke, the self is a dynamic process of becoming - a quest for identity. At its core the self is both changeless (autonomous) and yet changing (consubstantial). The self in its quest for identity identi- fies in a symbolic fashion of making choices. Hence the self seeks identity through acceptance and rejection of various sym- bols with which it is confronted, and this constant pattern de- velops the basis for growth as the self moves toward a unity of being. Therefore, in this pattern of acceptance and rejection, the self is in quest of identity within a unitary pattern of expérience. Yet, at thè same time, thè individuai self, because of the varying symbolical relationships, manifests itself in a unique manner.

It is this sojourn with which Burke concerns himself in formu- lating his concept of the self.

The individual's deepest means of support in the civic texture résides in ... a communicative or cooperative bond. By it he is "transcendentally" fortified. His personal solidity dépends upon his allegiance to it.4

The self, then, is in a constant state of transformation and therefore, "the maturing of thè individuai exposes him to 'cli- macteric stages' of one sort or another."5 Any change requires adjustment of the self as Burke points out:

. . . thè mere changing of one's glandular System would involve him in "new situations." And each change of "sit- uation" (scene), in this purely physical sensé, would re- quire a reorganization of the mind with relation to public, forensic structure. Similarly a man must be "reborn" in

Page 4: Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much ... Expérience with tendentious

ROY AMBRESTER 207

order to fit himself for genuine partnership with a woman - and if partnership is ended, he must again be "reborn" in order to take new problems of identity into account.6

The principle of rebirth is central to Burke's concept of the self for it is through the process of symbolic death, burial, and résurrection that the seif is able to adjust to the rigors of the drama of human expérience. Just as Burke's rhetoric would lead us through "the région of scramble, of insult and injury, bicker- ing, squabbling, malice and the lie. . ."7 so the seif confronts and is confronted by a chaotic world. Hence the seif is perpet- ually in a state of conflict and since such conflict often precludes physical action, the self seeks through the symbolization process to achieve a "higher synthesis atop the antithesis."8 Within such a symbolic process thè individuai forms himself through the development of attitude clusters which unify the various war- ring factions within thè individuai. Each synthesis of the warring factions within the self is a new, albeit temporary, identity for the seif in its continuai quest. As warring factions exist in society they are rhetorically imposed on the individuai. Hence the indi- vidual's symbolistic development is rhetorically determined. Fur- thermore since Burke allèges that

. . . rhetoric is rooted in the essential function of language itself , a function that is wholly realistic, and is continually born anew; thè use of language as a symbolic means of inducing coopération in beings that by nature respond to symbols,9

man therefore ultimately develops his personality, créâtes a self image, and seeks the "good life" through

* corporate and self-

imposed rhetorical stratégies. Burke's dynamic view of the self helps illuminate the concept

of identification within. For further delineation, we might turn to Burke himself:

The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much as an orator would confront a somewhat alien audience, whose perceptibilities he must flatter as a necessary step toward persuasion. ... A man can be his own audience, insofar as he, even in his secret thoughts, cultivâtes cer- tain ideas or images for thè effect he hopes they may hâve upon him; he is hère what Mead would cali "an ad- dressing its 'me' "; and in this respect he is being rhetorical

Page 5: Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much ... Expérience with tendentious

208 KENNETH BURKe's VIEW OF THE UNCONSCIOUS

quite as though he were using pleasant imagery to in- fluence an outside audience rather than one within.10

Burke has interestingly combined Freudian and dramatistic con- cepts in his explanation of thè nature of thè identification process within thè individuai.

He first casts thè nature in Freudian terminology with "ego" with its "id" confronting "superego." To clarify Freud's concept, we turn to one of Freud's works often cited by Burke, Jokes and Their Relation to thè Unconscious, for an explanation of thè pro- cess. Freud, in speaking of thè tendentious joke, allèges:

... An impulse or urge is présent which seeks to release

pleasure from a particular source and, if it were allowed free play, would release it. Besides this, another urge is

présent which works against this génération of pleasure -

inhibits it, that is, or suppresses it. The suppressing current must, as thè outcome shows, be a certain amount stronger than thè suppressed one, which, however, is not on that account abolished. . . .

. . . Expérience with tendentious jokes shows that in such circumstances thè suppressed purpose can, with thè assistance of pleasure from thè joke, gain sufficient

strength to overcome thè inhibition, which would other- wise be stronger than it. The insuit takes place, because thè joke is thus made possible. But it is incomparably greater. It is so much greater than thè pleasure from thè

joke that we must suppose that thè hitherto suppressed purpose has succeeded in making its way through, per- haps without any diminution whatever. It is in such cir- cumstances that thè tendentious joke is received with thè heartiest laughter.11

Viewed from Freud's perspective of thè tendentious joke, thè

"ego" with its "id" has found a tantalizing means of confronting and ultimately circumventing thè suppression of thè "superego." The "superego" for Burke opérâtes as a kind of alien audience, and thè nature of thè identification process involves thè symbo- listic manner in which thè process of circumvention takes piace. Freud's tendentious joke is particularly applicable in this case as it demonstrates thè workings of thè identification process within thè individuai who finds thè means through symbols of

circumventing his own suppressing mechanism.

Page 6: Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much ... Expérience with tendentious

ROY AMBRESTER 209

Hence, Burke's dramatistic point of view becomes apparent in his interprétation of the process of confrontation between the "ego" and the "superego" as a process of symbolic action in which identification is employed to transcend the symbolical estrangement while the autonomy of the two entities remains symbolistically intact. This process is illustrated of course in the preceding example from Freud's own writing.

Burke's use of Freudian imagery would suffer an injustice, however, if further clarification of the nature of the unconscious were omitted. In speaking of the "ego" and "superego," Burke is utilizing Freud's terminology, while entertaining his own ideas about the levels of the unconscious.12

In assessing the nature of the unconscious Burke states:

According to the Freudian nomenclature, the "uncon- scious" process of "repression" involves the fact that the thou-shalt-not's of the "superego" would negate the de- sires of the "id," that portion of the unconscious which knows no Negation (or, more resonantly, "knows no No"). And "symbolic" or "symptomatic" kinds of action are said to result from unconscious attempts to elude the répres- sions imposed by the tyranny of the "superego.". . .

. . . But whereas the Freudian negative is identified solely with the process of "repression" in the "uncon- scious," the dramatistic negative must focus attention upon the negative as a peculiar source of "symbol Systems."18

Burke, therefore, in an effort to place the concept of the "un- conscious" into a dramatistic perspective, enlarges upon Freud's basic concerns. To clarify his point Burke uses the illustration of the Five Dogs as follows:

Animalistically, there are many species of dogs. But dramatistically, these reduce to five (not a single one of which might meet the requirements of a dog-fancier - or should we say a dogman?).

For a finish, I would propose this other eut across our subject:

First, along psychoanalytic lines, there is the "primai" dog, the first dog you knew, or loved, or were frightened by, or lost. It secretly ties in with what the anthropolo- gist Malinowski would cali "context of situation." For

Page 7: Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much ... Expérience with tendentious

210 KENNETH BURKE's VIEW OF THE UNCONSCIOUS

though many or ali of thè détails that are associated with that dog may have been forgotten (and thus become "un-

conscious"), we now know that they are stili there within you somehow (and can be disclosed by drugs, hypnosis or psychoanalysis).

Next, there's thè "jingle" dog. It concerns thè sheerly accidential nature of thè "word" "dog," what it rhymes with in English as distinct from what thè corresponding word rhymes with in other languages, and above ali, in

English, we might well keep in mind Cummings' unde- niable observation that thè jingle dog is "God spelled backwards." (Or did he say it thè other way round?)

Third comes thè lexical" dog. This is thè one defined in thè dictionary, "by genus and differentia." It is thè most

public, normal, and rational of all dogs - and thè emptiest of ali, as regards thè attitude of either poets or neurotics. If that great, good, sound, healthy, public meaning for

"dog" were ali we had, I can confidently assure you that thè world would be completely clear of poetry. This is thè only définition that wholly makes sense, if thè world is to be kept going. But along with thè fact that this définition of "dog" is tremendously necessary, there's also thè fact that "dog" as so conceived is totally inane. You know what I mean. But if you want documentation be- sides, just track down all of thè références to dogs in Aeschylus' Oresteia ( or see thè pages on "dog" in William Empson's The Structure of Complex Words).

Fourth, there's an "entelechial dog." This is thè "per- fect" dog "towards which" one might aspire. I might give a round-about example of this sort: Beginning with thè material substance, "bread," let us next move to thè "word" "bread." Once we have that "word," through sheerly ver- bal manipulations we can arrive at a term for "perfect bread." Having got to that point, we find two quite différ- ent kinds of resources open to us. (1) We may feel dis- illusioned about "reality" because thè "thing" bread falls so tragically short of thè idea that flits about our "word'* for "perfect" bread. Or (2) we might be graced with thè opportunity to discern, ali around us, évidences of ways whereby even thè worst of bread embodies, however finitely, thè "principle" of an infinitely and absolutely "per-

Page 8: Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much ... Expérience with tendentious

ROY AMBRESTER 211

fect" bread. Dogs endowed with "personalities" in animal stories would be a fictional variant of such an "entelechial" motive. In their way, they are "perfect" embodiments of certain traits. Lassie has been thè Machinery's prime ex- hibit, as regards thè entelechial dog.

Finally, there is the "tautological" dog. We here have in mind the fact that a dog involves a particular set of associations which, in a sense, reproduce his spirit. For instance: kennel, dog food, master, the hunt, cat, protec- tion, loyalty, slavishness, the place where the dog was killed, and so on. When I was young, I always had a dog, and I always thought of lions as big dogs. It was quite a blow to me when I first learned that lions are really big cats. Looking back, I incline to believe that I had a "cy- cle" or "ladder" of terms, running from dog, to boy, to

father, to lion, to king (or generally, ruler or authority), to God. Here would be a "tautological" terminology in the sense I now have in mind.14

Burke's catégories of the unconscious, though somewhat

oblique and difficult to discern, nevertheless, provide additional

insight into thè nature of the identification process within the individuai.

To clarify the processes to which Burke makes référence, we turn to the "primai dog," which roughly corresponds to Burke's

concept of scene within his pentad format. It représente "the context of the situation" and serves as an ontological symbol -

the embodiment of the past in the présent. This particular "dog" (or symbolic System, if you will) includes the Symbols rooted in the context of the situation which, for Burke, would include all

symbolic root motives, both "repressed" and "non-repressed." This "dog" includes the symbolistic attitude clusters that com-

prise the symbolic portion of the unconscious. Burke's second "dog," the "jingle dog," corresponds to some

degree with Freud's concept of word-play in jokes. The "dog" is

onomatopoetic to the extent that it is composed of the pure sound System of the symbol itself . This "dog" might be conceived as corresponding with the act-agency ratio in the pentad format, for its concern rests with the language as an instrument in the attainment of a goal including those areas of the unconscious which incorporate word-play as a substitute for child-like re-

sponses to given situations. In other words, language becomes

Page 9: Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much ... Expérience with tendentious

212 KENNETH BURKE'S VIEW OF THE UNCONSCIOUS

an instrument whereby man can attain his ultimate objective through thè mere manipulation of that instrument. Therefore, Cummings' word-play with thè word dog as "God spelled back- wards" becomes a play on words which reflects a purgative- redemptive bypassing of the "superego."

The 'lexical dog" is clearly, as Burke points out, "the emptiest of ail as regards the attitudes of either poets or neurotics."15 This "dog" category is a highly abstract category which tends on the one hand to explain its importance and on the other to testify to its vacuousness. As a symbol it manifeste itself in man's un- conscious abstracting process for purposes of differentiation and classification. Any lexical symbol is "public, normal, and rational" because it bases its movement away from the particular, on logicai processes which allow for common catégories of terms. Yet, as thèse terms develop and become more public in nature, they likewise become more inane in the sensé of being empty of content. Viewed from the perspective of the act-agency ratio, this process differs from the "jingle dog" in the sensé that in "jingle" man moves upward within the language, whereas with "lexical" man moves upward with the language.

The concept of the "entelechial dog" embodies the character of the act-purpose ratio, for it is this type of symbolization which allows for the légitimation of conduct. Burke's own statement should help to clarify the concept. He says:

. . . Hère . . . is what we hâve called the "entelechial" mode of thought, thè feeling that the principle of a genus is represented by its "highest" potentialités. When such a mode of thought is translated into terms of social rank, it makes the prince, or highest rung of the social ladder, represent thè generai principle of such hiérarchie order. Then, if one conceives his own motives in terms of the dévotion paid to princes, it follows that one conceives of oneself rhetorically, in terms of courting and being courted.1*

Within our unconscious symbolical strivings we seek a means whereby we can conceptualize that which is perfect, whereupon we can therefore "discover" the essence of perfection at ail levels within the symbolization process. Hence, since the highest per- fection of animalism is man, we "endow" our animais with human traits thereby placing the essence of the animal within the frame- work of human perfectibility. Such "endowments," therefore, are

Page 10: Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much ... Expérience with tendentious

ROY AMBRESTER 213

Symbols of the unconscious entelechial motive operative in human endeavor.

If one should attempt to scratch the fifth and final "tautolog- ical dog," he might find himself bleeding profusely, for it is this

symbolic System which embraces the unconscious strivings of the

act-agent ratio. Burke views the "tautological" process as a

cycle through which humans begin with lower level abstrac- tions related to themselves, move them upward to an ultimate extension and can move them up and down at will in an unend-

ingly circuitous fashion. Hence, équations would involve such

identificatory Symbols as running from: "dog, to boy, to father, to lion, to king, . . . to God."17 Therefore, "tautological" symbol- ization involves a process of movement toward highest authority, and the révélation of such a symbol for authority is a révélation of the actor who created the symbol. In other words, man's high- est révélations of the "good life" serve as traces which ultimately reveal the nature of the man who created the symbol.

After viewing thè basic "meaning" of Burke's dogs, our quest nécessitâtes turning to this interprétation in terms of Burke's

expansion of the Freudian concept. The basic Freudian concept may be seen by viewing the ego,

not as a hypostasized "thing" but as a symbol-oriented, dynamic process. The same is true of the superego in the sense that while Burke retains thè basic tenets of thè "screening" élément, he moves away from the introjected value System of the superego toward a superego as a symbolistic censor. The relation between the ego and the superego is largely rhetorical, and this may be seen more clearly by reviewing Burke's five dogs.

In turning to the first, the "primai dog," we discover that in this rhetorical context the "ego" is a part of a primordial attitude

system which includes ail symbols making up the "context of the situation" and therefore the context of thè individuai. There is an identification factor working at the level of first-order sym- bols which constitutes the initial reaction to the symbol itself. There is the symbolistic negative superego which acts as an alien audience in the sense of branding the sub-articulatory processes "unworthy" of conscious articulation. Hence, the process of con- frontation which would allow conscious articulation of sub-artic- ulated identifications is revealed only under hypnosis, drugs, psychoanalysis, and in dreams (and one might include poetic "insight" and neurotic-psychotic "révélation"). Within this sym- bolic system, then, there is an underlying first-order set of identi-

Page 11: Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much ... Expérience with tendentious

214 KENNETH BURKE's VIEW OF THE UNCONSCIOUS

ficatìons, there is identification in thè process of confrontation with thè superego, and there is identification in thè synthesis which émerges from thè confrontation.

The "jingle dog" offers an expansion of thè concept of "ego" in thè sensé that it représente thè self as a dynamic child-symbol ("ali children" might be more accurate) and thè superego as a

dynamic parent-symbol. Hence, thè word-play employed by thè

ego becomes a kind of rhetoric of courtship through which thè child-like symbols lull thè parent-symbols into submission with- out jeopardizing thè autonomy of thè symbolistic structures. There is an identification process operative in thè sélection of thè child-play symbols which will permit identification with thè suppressed symbols and identification will ultimately lead to an extension of thè "seif' in thè symbols chosen.

The 'lexical dog" affords another means of viewing thè "ego" and "superego" in thè process of identification. Rather than

acting as a repressing censor, grounded societally, thè superego on this level acts as a kind of reflexive alien symbol to guard against thè classifying tendencies within thè self. There is an almost "automatic" identification which occurs at this level in thè sense that thè differentiating and classifying aspects of thè symbol-using animai form identifications which allow for such classification. Although thè System is somewhat automatic, thè symbols chosen in thè process of abstracting must somehow pacify this reflexive superego with a type of identification that allows for an et cetera.

The "entelechial dog" embodies an "ego" concerned with per- fection and therefore is composed of symbols rooted in a quest for essences. The "superego" on thè other hand is concerned with normative symbols and therefore resists thè movement toward perfectibility. Obviously, then, thè "ego" formulâtes sym- bols constituting perfection and thè "superego" seeks to dimin- ish thè significance of thè nature of perfectibility. From this vantage point then, thè "ego" must develop symbols based upon essences which allow for identification with thè concept of per- fection, develop identification with thè "superego" in récognition of thè imperfectibility in normative symbols, and ultimately ar- rive at a synthesis atop thè antithesis.

The "tautological dog" places thè "ego" in thè realm of self- image as thè self strives for identifications in a hierarchal move- ment toward thè ultimate. The "superego" acts as a "reality" or "scientism" symbol which would reduce symbols to signais and

Page 12: Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much ... Expérience with tendentious

ROY AMBRESTER 215

thereby thwart the identificatory progression. Thus the "super- ego" would keep the "ego" in its "place" with reminders that "lions are not big dogs." Yet, man s quest for the "spirit" would demand that he develop symbols which will allow him symbolis- tically to "kill" the superego and be reborn to a symbolistic spiritual life on "the other side." This death, burial, and résur- rection in symbols dépends totally upon the identification process and recurs again and again.

One further observation needs to be made about Burke's "dogs." While it is obvious that Burke has expanded Freud's conceptualization of "ego" and "superego" and placed identifica- tion at the roots of the processes, it should be noted that these catégories are not "fixed." As Burke points out, they overlap, which rather than being a hindrance is in effect an asset, for such overlapping allows for further expansion of the concept.

Viewed from the expanded Freudian perspective, the nature of identification is relatively clear. On the level of "ego," iden- tification acts as a means of achieving the synthesis from within. At the level of the "superego" identification becomes a means of achieving a consubstantial relationship through rétention of the autonomous nature of both entities. Finally, identificatory means and ends merge: identification becomes a synthesis in the quest for ultimate synthesis.

In partially essentializing Burke's concept of identification within thè individuai we hâve discovered that: (1) identification is an inhérent part of the development of "self" in that it allows thè individuai to transcend the confines of his autonomous nature while at the same time enabling him to retain his auton- omy; (2) identification créâtes the basis for transcendence which is basic to thought; (3) identification is a means of achieving attitude clusters within the unconscious; (4) identification is a symbolistic device employed (in various stances) in the ego's confrontation with the superego; (5) identification is the primary means in one's efforts to transcend conflict between formative and conservative forces within the self, and at the same time; (6) identification is the achievement of this transcendence.

NOTES 1 Hugh D. Duncan, Communication b- Social Order (New York: Bed-

minster Press, 1962), p. 165. 2 Kenneth Burke, "Rhetoric - Old and New," The Journal of General

Education, V (April, 1951), p. 203.

Page 13: Identification Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... Within: Kenneth Burke's View of the ... The "ego" with its "id" confronts the "superego" much ... Expérience with tendentious

216 KENNETH BURKE'S VIEW OF THE UNCONSCIOUS

3 Statements by Kenneth Burke, personal interview, Jan. 22, 1972. 4 Burke, Permanence and Change (New York: New Republic, Inc.,

1935), p. 302. Burke, Attitudes Toward History, II (New York: New Republic, Inc.,

1937), p. 98. Ibid., pp. 215-216. 7 Burke, A Rhetoric of Motives (Berkeley: University of California

Press, 1969). 8 Burke, Attitudes Toward History, I (New York: New Republic, Inc.,

1937). 9 Burke, A Rhetoric of Motives, op. cit., p. 43.

i° Burke, A Bhetoric of Motives, op. cit., p. 38. 11 Sigmund Freud, Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious, trans.

James Strachy (New York: W. V. Norton and Company, Inc., 1960), pp. 135-136.

12 Burke, interview, op. cit. 13 Burke, "Mind, Body & the Unconscious," Language as Symoblic Ac-

tion (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), pp. 65-66. 14 ibid., pp. 73-74. 15 Ibid., p. 73. ie Burke, A Rhetoric of Motives, op. cit., p. 148. 17 Burke, "Mind, Body & the Unconscious," op. cit., p. 74.


Recommended