Thursday, December 18, 2014

Passionate Politics vs. U.S.!

Chris Bachelder does a phenomenal job of familiarizing his readers with Sinclair’s works and shrewdly admiring his political beliefs at the same time with extensive uses of sarcasm. Bachelder believes that even though Sinclair’s political view might not be completely prevalent in today’s society but there are many noteworthy points that if modernized, can change the society for the better. For example in the section Every Knock is a Boost, the publisher of the Lanny Budd series says that Lanny belongs to the early- to mid-twentieth century and therefore they need a “younger hero” to whom the modern-day audience can relate (193). Therefore, in the book U.S.! Sinclair is assassinated and resurrected whenever socialism is hated or needed in a certain situation. This constant dying and resurrecting of Sinclair is meant to show the constant struggle in our society and the great need of a socialistic political system in America.

It is not hard to notice many melodramatic characteristics in Bachelder’s book U.S.!, as he makes use of emotion evoking elements to promote a certain political system. The book Passionate Politics also is a analytic description of the different ways of using emotional evoking elements in politics. In the first chapter of Passionate Politic, Goodwin introduces two types of emotional transformation that are involved in collective rituals. The first one he says is “the amplification of the initiating emotion” while the second type “involves the transmutation of the initiating emotion into something else: the emotion which arises out of consciousness of being entrained within collective focus of attention. I believe that in the context of Bachelder’s book, we can very clearly see the second type of transformation. Bachelder takes his readers through this transformation by starting off his book with a series of very vague short satirical stories which make the reader wonder why Sinclair’s ideologies which were so highly regarded at some point are so irrelevant in today’s society. Then he slowly transitions into a phase of subtly praising Sinclair’s works and showing how a great number of people criticize him mostly because they don’t really have the wit to understand his works and contributions. Therefore, Bachelor uses this transition to first grab the attention of his audience to actually make them passionate and concerned about the issue. 

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