Communication ETDs

Publication Date



Winston Miranda, a surrealist painter from the historic capital of Granada, Nicaragua, is creating a contemporary, post-revolutionary path that is distinct from yet informed by its revolutionary antecedents. In essence, his art is a literal and figurative bridge between war and healing. Critical research to date, however, has not considered the rhetorical implications of the role of art in Nicaragua after the revolutionary period (1990 to the present day). Henceforth, my thesis is a pentadic criticism of the post-revolutionary components of Mirandas surrealist oil paintings. By aggregating the literal and latent content of Miranda's artworks as a collective drama and performance, I was able to locate and extract key act, scene, agent, agency, and purpose elements across three layers of pentads: Dream, Play, and Lived World. I ultimately reveal the artist's underlying motivation in engendering resilience for himself, his country, and the world. My analytical tool is based primarily upon Kenneth Burke's (1969a) theory of dramatism, with components of art therapy and psychoanalysis incorporated to capture the overall essence of the painting aggregate. I also utilize Walter Benjamin's (1968) notion of translation to facilitate explanation of the ways in which Miranda navigates from pentad to pentad via translatory tools of historic artistic voices, the 4,000-year old world-renowned performance art of puppetry, and audience participation, respectively. What ultimately emerges from the analysis of Miranda's surrealist paintings is an understanding of the symbolic nature of not only recovery, but above all resilience from trauma across a plethora of experiential fronts and how this regenerative healing may be conveyed through visual imagery. I conclude this thesis by propounding the major rhetorical strategies suggested by the role of art in post-revolutionary Nicaragua and how surrealism might function to mediate those strategies and negotiate a world that is increasingly becoming more visual in its communicative practices.




resilience, Nicaragua, post-revolution, surrealism, Winston Miranda, rhetoric, art therapy, pentadic criticism, visual communication, translation, performance studies, puppetry

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Foss, Karen A.

First Committee Member (Chair)

Balas, Glenda R.

Second Committee Member

Rack, M. Christine

Third Committee Member

Tiano, Susan B.