Coach Boone and Burke’s 3 Ways of Identifying With Others

“Remember the Titan’s” is a movie full of not only inspirational moments, but great examples of inspirational public address. The characters in this movie, particularly Coach Boone, call upon strategies we studied in our class this semester often and effectively over the course of the film. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie (you really really should!) I’ll give you a little bit of background.

Set in Virginia in the 1970s, “Remember the Titan’s” tells the story of the first integrated football team in the state. The team’s success is threatened not only by the violent forces of racism, but by dissent and disagreement between the teams members. While at preseason camp, Coach Boone realizes that he either has to bring the team together or it will completely fall apart. With this in mind, he leads his team on a run to the Gettysburg Battlefield where he delivers the following speech.

This speech is not only a powerful cinematic moment, but a powerful example of how Burke’s method of consubstantiality can be used to bring two feuding groups together. This speech is an early turning point in the movie. By using public address to illuminate for his players their common history and common identity Coach Boone brings his players together. I think this moment stands as one of the greatest movie speeches of all time. Though it is short, Boone employs powerful imagery and dramatic language to bring his speech to life. He paints a vivid picture of what occured at the battle of Gettysburg and brings the scene alive for the movie audience. This is a powerful example of public address and dramatically shows us how Burke’s methods may be used to bring two groups of people together.

Lauren Waters

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