Rhetorical Analysis Of Two Sentences

1157 words - 5 pages

Rhetoric may refer to the practice of argumentation that aims to influence or modify the perspectives of the target audience (Herrick, 2005, p. 3). Critically analysing the rhetoric context of an article could help us better apprehend the writer’s rhetoric moves as analytical readers, and attain useful techniques to improve as proficient writers. This essay will be evaluating and comparing the following sentences, which both successfully delivered powerful messages within the gender equality arena yet vary in terms of their rhetorical situation, rhetorical appeals, tone, structure and style.

The sentences:
(1) “Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into ...view middle of the document...

2). Clinton, on the other hand, has always been the centre of controversies and the leader of the world’s women politicians. Her life was inarguably successful: she is one of the most notable graduates from the Wellesley College and Yale Law School, and being elected for the former First Lady and Secretary of the State (Clinton, 2012, p. 3). She is knowledgeable, smart, and indeed an empowered woman in the world.
Although Truth and Clinton have contrasting life experience and cultural backgrounds, both of them are influential speakers considering the two sentences’ distinctive purpose and audience. Regarding the sentence from Truth’s speech delivered at the Ohio Women’s Convention (Truth, 1851), the main purpose of her speech was to promote fundamental rights of women, specifically the African-American women who had been suffering intolerable difficulties of the time. Thus, the audience of this sentence was mainly the ‘black’ women that shared similar experiences with Truth. On the other hand, the sentence by Clinton from her speech for the United Nations (UN) Fourth World Conference on Women took a more general approach (Clinton, 1995). Its purpose was to inform the public about the importance of the link between women’s rights and human rights, and it is not only restricted to one group of women, but women in the world from different classes, races and nationalities. Hence, the audience for sentence two is broader, targeting on more educated and academic listeners worldwide with distinct occupations.
In order to better appeal their target audiences, the two sentences also utilize useful rhetorical strategies. In the first sentence, the main technique used by Truth was Pathos, namely, using personal experience to appeal to the audience’s sensibilities. For instance, sentence one used mostly informal phrases like “ain’t I”, “seen”, and mentioned about the fact that she has “borne thirteen children”, and “cried out of a mother’s grief”. Through sharing her personal experiences of prejudice as a victim, a black woman and a mother, she managed to connect emotionally with the target audience who might have suffered from the same forms of discrimination as slaves or mothers, so as to provoke emotional response and a sense of power to overcome gender equality. The use of rhythmic repetitions such as “ain’t I a woman” further builds on...

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