Leigh Howard

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Judith Hoover, Larry Winn, Pat Carr

Degree Program

Department of Communication

Degree Type

Master of Arts


In recent years, deconstruction theory has emerged as a key method for exploring public address, organizational culture, and literary discourse. Deconstruction theory encourages tearing apart hierarchy and established order to gain insights about the artifact being studied. Furthermore, the theory questions surface or superficial messages and encourages the reader to explore signals hidden below the surface. Deconstruction discounts context and places faith in experience.

Using the early plays of Samuel Beckett, this research explores deconstruction as a method to create messages. This new perspective transports deconstruction from a set of theoretical concepts into basic assumptions that enhance communication. This study suggests that deconstructive inventors use processes previously associated with deconstructive criticism to reveal their own beliefs. Furthermore, this study correlates deconstructive invention with rhetorical tropes – metonomy, synecdoche, metaphor, and irony – to create depiction-based persuasion, which asks the rhetor to suspend logic and evoke emotional response.


Communication | English Language and Literature | Literature in English, British Isles | Rhetoric and Composition