Date of Award

8-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Michael T. Williamson

Second Advisor

Thomas Slater

Third Advisor

Jutta Gsoels-Lorensen

Abstract

The dangers of Nationalist or Othering rhetoric were evident in Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich government as they led to the Holocaust and the implementation of the Final Solution. Currently, it is concerning that the same language may be present in the United States under the government administration of President Donald Trump. This study, which is both qualitative and quantitative, seeks to discover whether similarities in language and rhetorical context between President Trump and Adolf Hitler exist. Further, this study also offers a historical analysis of the sociopolitical climate during both periods to determine what opportunities have allowed for dangerous language to be accepted and perpetuated by the larger population. The dangers of a Nationalist identity and attitude as they are presented in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries are also explored. Lastly, the study displays how Nationalist and Othering language is the cornerstone of absolute government control and can lead to forced relocation. Utilizing historian Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning, this study places rhetorical analysis in conversation with his findings and builds upon them.

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