Compare the way distinctive voices are created in the speeches set for study and one related text. Distinctive voices can lead us to think about significant issues that occur in the world. Distinctive voices are created through a number of language techniques such as rhetorical devices. These enhance the meaning of the speeches and depict the key information that allows listeners to be alert of the issue the speaker is raising. They all challenge society by standing up for people and their own beliefs.
Martin Luther King and Severn Cullis-Suzuki both demonstrate the importance of their discussed issue throughout their speeches. In King’s I Have a Dream, he comments on the issue of black and white segregation and Suzuki raises the issues relating to the environment in her Address to the Plenary Session. A comparison can be made between the two along with Michael Moore’s film, Bowling For Columbine to analyse how a distinctive voice is created to raise important issues.
Dr. Martin Luther King challenges American society in his speech I Have a Dream for the right of his own race.
His strong use of anaphora creates a distinctive voice throughout his entire speech. King’s use of anaphora is most likely what led him to name his speech I Have a Dream. He continues to repeat “I have a dream” and “I have a dream today” in a large chunk of his speech. This is emphasising what he truly believes in for America. He is emphasising that a change is needed to be made to placate a population of African-Americans. The change is to also unite everyone as a nation. King’s distinctive voice depicts his determination.
Pathos is created with King’s strong priest like tone of voice and appears as if he is preaching to his audience of his message. His preaching of repetitive, memorable words are those that lead his audience to think about the issue he is talking about. Severn Cullis-Suzuki was only 12 years old when she ‘stopped the world for 5 minutes’. She spoke in front of the UN earth summit. Suzuki spoke representing many other children to gain adults awareness of the environment. An appeal to anaphora is present as she repeats “I’m only a child”.
It is a paradox to state self-evident truths. Between her repetitions of “I’m only a child”, she is reminding the UN of the disparity between rich and poor countries. Suzuki is clearly alert of the world around her and tells a story of her first few days in Brazil and dictates that a child came to her and said “I wish I was rich and if I were, I would give all the street children food, clothes, medicine, shelter and love and affection”. Suzuki argues that the government should not be so greedy when we already have everything we need.
Her statement creates ethos as she is highlighting how wrong the situation is and she continues to raise the issue that is present in other countries. Martin Luther King relates to historical texts to show evidence that someone else had tried to change American behaviours. The texts are legal documents but peoples are still continuing the previous behaviour. King makes reference to the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson. He uses “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal”.
This statement aimed to lead one to believe it will be accepted as right to and by everyone and not as an option. King is questioning why the action wasn’t grasped when the document was written. He emphasises the truths of society that should have been changed 150 years before. This leads the listeners to think about the past and that white American’s had written that everybody was created equal. Severn Suzuki’s Earth Summit Address raises the issue of degrading environment and challenges the international governments who have neglected it. The use of irony, rhetorical question and litotes proves this notion further.
The example of these techniques is when she speaks “Did you have to worry about these little things when you were my age? ” The irony of the sentence is within the word “little”. It is emphasising that this is not a small issue. It is a big one that needs to be saved. Litotes is also in the word “little” as she is making an understatement of the issue to the people. Her use of a rhetorical question forces the audience’s emotions to be present. This creates pathos as she gains sympathy from the United Nations as they identify with their own inner child.
Suzuki challenges the audience with her rhetorical question as it makes them think to themselves and reflect on the past. Michael Moore cleverly raises his concerns of the issue of gun control and usage in the United States in his film Bowling for Columbine. With use of montage, he challenges people’s thoughts and emotions. The montage consists of many confronting images that aim for a reality check to people who use guns. Sarcasm is adapted with the use of diegetic sound. Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World is playing over the top of the clips.
He emphasises the ridiculousness of the situation and causes pathos to show through his audience. The confronting images are supposed to make America aware of the violence that is caused due to America and their fascination with guns. It addresses that America need to be more aware of the destruction they cause. Moore ends his montage with a clip of a plane flying through one of the twin towers. The devastating event left America in ruins and made them fear Middle Eastern countries. The use of the clip makes the audience realise how much devastation America caused before 9/11 occurred.
Each of the speeches and film raise important issues that need to be thought upon and altered in a way that is good for the means of the people. Each use rhetorical devices making emphasis on their key information. Martin Luther King and Severn Cullis-Suzuki both alert the people of the wrongs the government and society make in order for a change to benefit everyone now and in the future. Michael Moore’s film relates and appeals to make people think and cause an emotional reaction. The following have all created a distinctive voice through their challenging words and choices in order to forward a change. Jackie farago
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