• ‘God Never Talks': alternative interpretations of the rhetoric used in William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist

      O’Keefe, David (2021-05)
      Competing explanations have been brought forward regarding the rhetorical implications of the 1973 horror film, The Exorcist. This paper aims to argue against those which insist that the film is meant to be viewed as endorsing a solely theistic interpretation. An opposing argument as such alienates and disregards a number of credible explanations and integral pieces of evidence, from both outside sources and the film itself. Therefore, this paper will utilize several of such sources, which include, but are not limited to film analyses and reviews, rhetorical analyses, and comparative writings with other works in the field. Ultimately, this paper will compare its own explanations and arguments with opposing ones, with the goal of illustrating that The Exorcist’s rhetoric is far more ambiguous and secular than many interpret it to be.