Rhetorical Analysis Essay: J.K. Rowling's and David Foster Wallace's Commencement Speeches

Published: 2022-05-02
Rhetorical Analysis Essay: J.K. Rowling's and David Foster Wallace's Commencement Speeches
Essay type:  Rhetorical analysis essays
Categories:  Writing
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1772 words
15 min read

J.K. Rowling's Commencement Speech at Harvard University

In this commencement speech, J.K Rowling appeals to pathos by using humor. Don't like the wording of this She has explained her purpose of the speech also by using anecdotes and ethos as I will get into further details later. Mrs. J.K Rowling did not remember what British philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock said in her speech because it was not appealing, hence, the use of humor to keep the audience awake and entertained. J.K Rowling brought out over a thousand people to come and listen to her speech at Harvard University. She used key elements to persuade the students at Harvard University to take her advice on how to overcome adversity and how your imagination can take you far in life. In J.K Rowling's speech, she uses rhetorical elements such as ethos, purpose, and voice.

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Rowling speech was largely about how failure was not an option for her, even though she grew up in poverty, which was an element of irony. She pointed out that an imagination is what makes me different than others. In that context, your imagination is stressed When using your imagination you can picture what others are going through, even if you have not experienced it yet, which appealed to logos. J.K Rowling uses the purpose tool to tell her story and explain to her audience about what all has happened and how she overcame obstacles in her life to get to where she is today. She expresses her obstacles in great detail through her stories, which she gives specific details. As she expressed herself more and got deeper into her story, she began to get into specific details.

The stories she told about her life was to be used to encourage the graduate graduating students to do as they pleased. She knew that many students would follow her and could relate to what she was saying. The graduate graduating students has had watched Mrs. Rowling start and develop since the Harry Potter books to the Harry Potter movies that she made; therefore when she uses her which made using her ethos they are more convincing to the students, because they know knew her background and that her story is authentic her authentic story.

Rowling uses emotional motivational speaking to connect to the graduate graduating students. The elevation of Rowling's speech comes when she states, "not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honor, but the weeks of fear and nausea I have endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight." By stating that With this statement she expresses to the graduate graduating students that she too once, had connects their related feelings. As she expressed herself more her mood began to lighten up and her confidence began to rise, as if the graduate graduating students and her were on the same exact page and she felt more comfortable. (What is going on at this point in J.K. Speech emphasize more.)At this moment in the speech J.K has had the graduates in on the palm of her hand and everything is going just they way that she want it. (Claps, Cheers,etc.)

Rowling uses more pathos near the end of her speech to demonstrate how important having an imagination was to have. Mrs. J.K Rowling stated, "Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced." Rowling also uses ethos to shock the audience by voicing "she was the biggest failure that she knew." By stating that she was the biggest failure that she knew she connects with the audience because, majority of them has ( wrong verb) have had the feeling of quitting, but didn't speak (wrong preposition) on about it. If J.K Rowling came (irrelevant words)happens to come from a wealthy family and had everything that she ever wanted then her story would be irrelevant, forgery and her ethos would be pointless, (WHY?)because her story wouldn't be authentic or relative.

From my understanding J.K Rowling was someone who came up from poverty to power and used her imagination to see past her failure. (Emphasize more on the imagination of J.K Rowling and what does she see in her imagination.)When failure came to sight J.K used her imagination to see the out come(The big picture) of overcoming failure. I believe that her imagination helped her see the future and the possibility of success she had coming foward. By using pathos, ethos, and logos Rowling's connects to her audience thoroughly. Expressing her experiences allows her to help and simulate to the audience listening to her. Because of her knowledge and success she is able to give useful life tips towards students and because they look at her as a perfect example they will follow her lead.

David Foster Wallace's Commencement Speech at Kenyon College

Wallace uses logos to induce the audience by use of reason by stating,"Because my natural default setting is the certainty that situations like this are really all about me. Wallace also stated, "About my hungriness and my fatigue and my desire to just get home, and it's going to seem for all the world like everybody else is just in my way" in this statement Wallace is using pathos and anaphora, because we do not have to look at people this way, it is his opinion. In that statement Wallace is saying So far Wallace has used 3 key elements to illustrate his story.

In Wallace commencement speech he explained the logic that everyone has different beliefs in religion. Wallace persuades the audience to talk about where their beliefs come from and by acknowledging them. He shows the regular works of society and how everyone tries to disguise themselves in public.(Why do people feel the need to disguise themselves) People tend to disguise themselves because they are scared to show who they really are because they are afraid of what others may think.

Wallace also states that we can't "worship money and things" because those things are only temporary and they can be taken away quicker than they were given! Typo Wallace and then he talks about evil, sin, and worshiping material goods throughout his speech. The Material thing does not matter , worshiping materials things is ungodly like. (Emphasis on why worshipping material goods are ungodly.)Worshiping material things are ungodly because as a Christian In the bible in Hebrews 13:5 it says "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Wallace paints a picture in my head about telling me what happened in his speech in his by expliciting detailing the details, I thought that was pretty awesome. Wallace stated, "It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger" seemingly to foreshadow his own death now that I think about it. People go through a lot, so when others plus the things they are going through starts to weigh on their shoulders it makes them seem worthless. And since a bullet to the head is the quickest way to end their life they choose that route. The decision that the make is long dead before they pull the trigger , meaning that they have made on their mind about life and death at that point.

In this speech, he is telling the graduates about real life situations, like what really happens to those who work 10-12 hours daily. After working a 10-12 hour shift, after being exhausted you will need to have your time scheduled. After graduating college you really enter the real world, everything else from there on is about survival.

This speech is very honest, interesting and straightforward. In my opinion, I think the most engaging line, was when he talked expressed about not wanting to shoot ourselves in the head. We have to find out the good things in life and learn how to be less selfish and have more selflessness. We should make a habit out of being more caring, and putting others first for the sake of sacrifice. to sacrifice for them. You should live life freely because life is what you make of it so be happy.(wording is a little off and needs improvement). Wallace makes the audience understand that it is easy to hate people because people always have to try to give their opinion on things they are so quick to suggest their opinions on others.

Wallace mixes his literary devices to convey his point of views throughout his speech. He tries to make the audience think about the people that surrounds them, and how important it is to think before you do things. All of the literary devices were inserted in the speech, not just because he felt like it, but because he knows that the audience will listen because he has their attention and make his information useful due to the useful information he provided.

Wallace speaking sounds like he is a very humble man, but his points are not. Wallace wrote his speech like he wanted it to be analyzed , if that make any sense. I say that because of his uses of literary devices to get his point across. Throughout his slump and concern, he stresses that when life becomes dull and uninteresting. In the beginning, Wallace says the fish asked, " What the hell is water." Wallace tells a story about an old wise fish. He stated, there are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says "morning boys, how's the water?" As the two young fishes continue to swim the ask themselves "What the hell is water?" Wallace replied (repeated says too many times)the say "I am not the wise old fish" The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.", By stating this he takes all power away from himself, because really he knows he is the old wise fish that he speaks about, so saying he is not is an which is an understatement. So the moral of the story as human beings, we should be aware and responsive that "this is water".

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay: J.K. Rowling's and David Foster Wallace's Commencement Speeches. (2022, May 02). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/rhetorical-analysis-essay-j-k-rowlings-and-david-foster-wallaces-commencement-speeches

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