The Rhetoric of Guilt and the Body [abstract]
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Guilt is an emotion common to most individuals. It is also a less common rhetorical device used to persuade an audience toward making one decision or another. Yet, when we look at the history of rhetoric, Aristotle in particular, there is no mention of guilt as a tool used to motivate. Although it is fairly common device today, little research into guilt as a motivator has been done. Because we see guilt in advertising rhetoric as well as rhetoric of social movements, it is important to look at how and why this emotion has become a part of rhetorical messages. Guilt as a motivator has been used in the past, and it appears frequently in conduct literature, especially that literature directed at women.