Rhetoric, Visual Rhetoric, and the 1950’S Betty Crocker Cookbooks


  • Barbara Cass


This study explores the importance of Betty Crocker to her cookbooks in the 1950’s. The Betty Crocker Cookbook was an instruction manual that fits within a particular genre of technical communication. These technical manuals included instruction for women on how to prepare and cook aesthetically pleasing and wholesome meals. The Betty Crocker Cookbook went beyond established norms of cookbook instruction by adding helpful hints on how to be a perfect housewife. Rhetorical and visual analysis of the 1950’s Betty Crocker Cookbooks shows the importance of these particular cookbooks was Betty Crocker herself. Because she was an authority on all things pertaining to the kitchen, women accepted this authority, in part because of the ethos of Betty Crocker, a trusted figure and someone they felt a relationship with. She was with them through the Great Depression and World War II, and she was the voice on the radio that brought a sense of normalcy in a turbulent time, the fact that Betty Crocker was a fictional construct did not matter.





Montana Academy of Sciences [Presentation Abstracts]