Committee Chair

Ingraham, Lauren

Committee Member

North, Susan; Warren-King, Bonnie

Department

Dept. of English

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

Through a combination of rhetorical heightening, idiom, and structure, Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster influenced their young American audience with the first appearance of Superman in 1938’s Action Comics no. 1. Superman’s lack of distinguishing characteristics, dual identity, and embodiment of American culture allowed the character to become a vehicle for Siegel and Shuster, persuading children to be a helper of those in need and champion of the oppressed. Varying panel size and choosing what to show from what not to show allowed Siegel and Shuster to heighten specific moments within Superman’s story. Through metaphor and symbolic modeling, children recognized the impact of helping others in their lives both as a child and later as an adult. The tools that Siegel and Shuster had available to them in this particular medium—such as being able to simultaneously heighten several different moments within the narrative in one panel—make it a unique form of rhetorical heightening in fiction.

Degree

M. A.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts.

Date

2011

Subject

Superman (Fictitious character)

Name

Action Comics (Firm)

Keyword

Superman

Discipline

English Language and Literature

Document Type

Masters theses

Extent

viii, 84 leaves

Language

English

Rights

Under copyright.

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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