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. 2020; 76(1): 81-95

Metaphors for Western Thought: Assessing the Rhetoric of One World “Freedom Tower”

Thomas James Monahan.


Metaphors for Western Thought: Analyzing the Rhetoric of One World “Freedom Tower”
On September 11th, 2001, the world was shocked by an attack carried out on the lower-west side of the New York City borough of Manhattan, at the symbolic site of the well known Two-World Trade Center. The event only lasted a short while, before resolving, and became recognized not long after by the country as a national tragedy; the world mourned shortly after as the smoke cleared. Five years following the attacks on 9-11, the city began efforts to construct a new tower that would be seen by all as a historic landmark, and a symbol of the country’s strength and resilience in the face of those who would seek to destroy the American way of life. The monument is called the One World Trade Center, or “Freedom Tower” as it is now more widely recognized by those from New York and aboard. The Tower can mean many things to many people including, hope, pride, freedom, strength, resilience: symbols are often known for their ambiguous natures, and historic landmarks are no exception to the eyes of those who wish to pull meaning from an extended metaphor. This article will draw upon the earlier thoughts of Richard Weaver’s theory of tyrannizing images, to reflect upon how freedom is used in the rhetoric of New York City’s One World Trade Center as a metaphor embodying the American ideology of wealth being equivalent to salvation in the pursuit of happiness.

Key words: Rhetoric, Ideology, Capitalism, Metaphor, Freedom

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