Reading Response 02.
When I first read the title to this reading, I was admittedly skeptical of the validity. My imitate thought was, “We’re going to rhetorically analyze two walls with the names of the dead, right?” After reading it, however, I was pleased at how Sturken described the construction, and alluded to underlying meanings. The reading also reminded of how different the definition of the word, “text” can be. I was also pleased at
People typically think of writing, or books when they hear the word text. In rhetoric, specifically for this class, I feel there is a more broad understanding. To me, texts are anything that conveys meaning that can be analyzed. The word analyzed is a key word, specifically to the Sturken reading. It was interesting to me how various people had very opposing viewpoints on the Vietnam Memorial.
Listen to the first 60 seconds of the audio clip from Studio 360 here:
The first minute is just an introduction to the story, but you can see how there are so many different opinions about the Memorial. The Memorial itself is relatively simple, two walls with names etched into them. The message behind them, however, is up to personal interpretation.
The Vietnam War was one of the worst wars in American history depending on who you talk to. As the reading pointed out, there are a lot of different opinions about the war. This can explain the differing responses to the erection of the Memorial. While I’m sure that there were some underlying motivations for the design, and construction of the Memorial, there are none expressed if you view it in person. Regardless, people responded furiously, stating that it had no place amongst the various other monuments. Other people have welcomed the memorial, and love the honor that it offers the dead.
These differing viewpoints are only two of thousands, but they exemplify how people in general analyze select texts, and add their own insights to form an opinion.