William Faulkner encouraged the graduating class at Oxford that they would have to overcome their fears and stand up for what they believe in. Faulkner organizes his speech by telling the class their faults and weaknesses. Towards the end of his speech he explains to them how they can overcome their fears and change the world. William Faulkner’s purpose of his speech was to encourage young minds all over the world to overcome their fear of certain things that kept them from living up to their potential in order to change the world for a greater good. Faulkner was able to establish a sense of paternity with his audience through the use of pathos. As for logos and ethos Faulkner is able to incorporate them throughout his whole speech. Faulkner sets a lot of styles in his speech like repetitive, irony, imagery, and allusions.
During the whole speech I was able to analyze a great deal of rhetorical devices used by Faulkner to get his audience to understand him to a deeper level. He incorporates ethos by explaining the saying of a wise Frenchman which said, “If youth knew; If age could.”. Faulkner explains that when you’re young and naive you are full of energy, but when you age to an old man you become very wise but lack the energy to accomplish anything. As for pathos Faulkner was able to make his audience feel a sense of security because he spoke with assertion in his voice, almost as if he had experienced the fear that tyrants impose on “Man”. Logos wasn’t as predominant in the speech as were the other two rhetorical devices. Faulkner tries to infuse logos in his speech by assuring his audience that the only way to accomplish anything in life is to stop shying away from their fears and overcome them.
William Faulkner includes several varieties of style in his speech. One of the styles he used was repetition, for the duration of the speech he kept on referring to mankind as “Man” at least more than three times. Irony was also a style that was used in the beginning of Faulkner’s speech when he simplified the saying of the wise Frenchman. To me it’s ironic that when you’re young and full of energy you don’t have the slightest idea to accomplish anything, but when your old and have grown in wisdom you know how to do anything but lack the energy and will to do it. Faulkner also enhanced his speech by using imagery when he started to describe the atom bomb and painting a vivid picture for his audience that portrayed the damage it could do if it were to land on the ceremony going on in Oxford.
William Faulkner’s main goal while addressing the graduating class at Oxford University was to inspire them to accomplish their goals and more by overcoming the tyrants and all the negative forces that tried to do “Man” wrong. Faulkner’s effectiveness on the class was very positive because he was able to use rhetorical devices and styles to further intrigue them and motivate them to change the world.