Mccullough's Speech: You Are Not Special

580 Words3 Pages
McCullough’s compelling speech, “You Are Not Special”, grabs the listener's attention through the devices he uses to further progress his main point in his speech that you shouldn’t try to be special or different for the recognition or praise of others, but for your own rewarding gratification. McCullough discusses the motif of similarity and notability, but then begins to overturn this towards the end of his speech and say how no one is solely special, but that everyone is special. McCullough addresses his purpose by using powerful symbolism, descriptive logos and a delayed sentence. Many devices have contributed to McCullough’s main point that no one is special, and he elaborates on this by saying high schoolers have been coddled their…show more content…
For example, he says, “Across the country no fewer than 3.2 million seniors are graduating about now from more an 37,000 high schools. That’s 37,000 valedictorians... 37,000 class presidents... 92,000 harmonizing altos... 340,000 swaggering jocks…” This furthers his purpose that everyone is similar to us. But, McCullough also describes the symbolism of time, insignificance, and failure. For instance, McCullough says, “If you’ve learned anything in your four years here I hope it’s that education should be for, rather than material advantage, the exhilaration of learning.” (pg. 5). McCullough is signifying that growth and learning should be something people do because they enjoy it and think it’s fun. McCullough validates that children have been more worried about having a good resume to send to colleges than putting their happiness and other’s happiness first, like how “Guatemalan medical clinic becomes more about the application to Bowdoin than the well-being of Guatemalans.“ (Pg. 5) So, when you get rid of the stigma that you are special because it's what everyone has been telling you you are, you release the idea that you have to be perfect and what others think of you is what makes you unique. You are unique all on your own, and that’s what McCullough is trying to…show more content…
After all, “The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special. Because everyone is.” (Pg. 7). This delayed sentence gives a sense of finality and closure to the listener, and overall concludes McCullough’s purpose that, even though we all may be similar, our meaningful lives should be lived for ourselves, and this is achieved by McCullough’s significant symbolism, distinct logos, and eventual delayed
Open Document