Rhetorical Criticism of Cross
William Jennings Bryan
Cross of Gold Speech
Lets begin by analyzing and explaining the theory of metaphoric criticism. A metaphor, as defined by Aristotle, is the transference of a name from the object to which it has a natural application. A metaphor is decoration, ornamentation, and figurative language to a rhetor. They are not needed but create unordinary speech. Metaphors serve as heuristic tools for suggesting new hypothesis, new areas of research, and new research strategies. They also function as rhetorical devices for communicating ideas. Lets consider uses of metaphor as tools for thought and communication. The tool function of metaphor is to extend the capacity of active memory using the medium speech; while the function of metaphor as a tool for thoughtis to extend our capacities for perceiving relationships in the perceptual domain to the conceiving of relationships in the conceptual domain. A criticism is an analysis or finding a fault of something. Together, the two definitions compose a metaphoric criticism. There are four steps to using metaphors as a unit of analysis; Formulating a research question and selecting an artifact, selecting a unit of analysis, analyzing the artifact, and writing the critical essay.
In applying the theories of metaphoric criticism, I will focus on two metaphors used throughout the Cross of Gold speech. The first use of metaphors is to convey violent acts to show the wrongfulness in changing the gold standard. Bryan refers back to fighting, contest, and war to show that the people are not going to go along with the government. Bryan speaks of brother against brother, father against son to show that part of the government is on the same level as the citizens and another part is above the rest. But when the citizens clad in armor, they will be stronger and overcome the wrath of the government. WJB refers to the office as the plank which declares against life tenure. What is shown here is the opposition of what is being built up by the plank in Washington. The life tenure being built is opposed, and excludes from participation in official benefits the humbler members of society.
Why would the battle of Waterloo and St. Helena be mentioned in this rhetoric? It is to show of things gone bad, as is Mr. McKinleys reputation when he rebuts against his nation. When he is in favor of fastening the gold standard upon this country, or who is willing to surrender the right of self-government, the battle, wars, contest, fighting, and challenges are made. He talks about enemies in battle and who shall win to refer to the government against the people and vice versa. The battle is between the citizens of the country and the government and there shall be a winner. Who the enemy is determined by the audience. But WJB is referring to the government and how their actions are not in favor of the people. His appeal, furthermore, is to labor and to the farmer, in a day when feeling is creeping through the country that the gold standard acts as a brake upon the enlarged earning capacity of those who work with their hands. You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, Mr. Bryan exclaiming at the close of his oration depicts how the governments actions are against the people. The government is trying to hurt the people but they will not allow it to happen without a dispute. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.
WJB linked broadened prosperity directly to agriculture and to the purchasing power of labor. He struck out forcefully at the conservative debate that true prosperity requires first at stable base for invested wealth, from which prosperity grows. He says that ones riches maybe anothers resource. The more privileged should not be able to destroy the less fortunate by taking what they have made and burn it to the ground. They should help them build on it and make it stronger.
So, What? The idea of the interaction view is that in the most interesting cases metaphors create similarity, rather than state some pre-existing similarity. They thus produce new knowledge by projecting