The Guilt Redemption Cycle and Dove’s "Campaign for Real Beauty"

This is a paper I recently wrote using Kenneth Burke’s concept of the guilt-redemption cycle to analyze the effectiveness of Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty.” Burke drew on popular narratives in religion to analyze what makes effective rhetoric; to see what works in motivating people to action. Guilt, purification, and redemption are popular themes in religion (i.e. confession, dying for our sins, the flood). Religion has also been extremely successful in narrating events in a way that motivates people to action. Therefore, as Burke would argue, it follows that this successful way of dramatizing events (through the guilt-redemption cycle) can also be found in other successful pieces of rhetoric. This paper shows this pattern in Dove’s current campaign.

To see Dove’s advertising campaign, go to

(This is for you dad)


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