The art of magic has enjoyed increasing visibility and a resurgence of interest, as demonstrated by the rising popularity of magicians, such as David Blaine, Hans Klok, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, and the production of two major motion pictures within a single year – The Prestige and The Illusionist. With his number one-rated cable television show and his recent ten-year contract for a major Vegas show with Cirque de Soleil at the Luxor, Criss Angel personifies the modern-day magician who is at the forefront of the magic renaissance. This paper attempts to examine the rhetorical potency of magic by analyzing the first season of Criss Angel’s award-winning television show, Mindfreak. By using Kenneth Burke’s concepts of symbolic action and identification, this paper explores the symbolic, albeit persuasive, dimension to magic as exemplified by Criss Angel.
Early in the 1970s, as increasingly diverse students were granted access to higher education through measures like the G.I. Bill, the discussion surrounding ESL students in the composition classroom began to note a distinction between how instruction should be designed for English language learners as opposed to instruction for native speakers. Authors argued that ESL students could not be assessed in the same manner as other students.