Commencement Speech At Mount Holyoke College Rhetorical Analysis

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In her “Commencement Speech at Mount Holyoke College”, Anna Quindlen employs personal anecdotes and her academic background to effectively build her credibility. Quindlen explains how her strive for perfection in her younger years only served to add needless parasitic pressure. She claims that “being perfect day after day, year after year, became like always carrying a backpack filled with bricks on my back” (Quindlen 1). Drawing from her personal experiences, Quindlen challenges her audience to “give up the backpack”. By building a strong connection through shared hardship, Quindlen appears as an authority on defying conformity to discover one’s own individuality. Moreover, Quindlen utilizes academic diction and alludes to academic works.
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