Rhetorical Analysis Of Dorothy Ann Willis Richards

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In July of 1988, Dorothy Ann Willis Richards, the Texas State Treasurer at the time, gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. The room was filled with democratic supporters to whom Richards emphasizes the need to for American politics to "do better." Her speech was intended to persuade the audience to vote for the Democratic party in the upcoming election, rather than the Republican party. Richards attempts to persuade the audience through her use of humor, repetition, and personal anecdotes. Richards kicks off her speech with the humorous statement ,"After listening to George Bush all these years, I figured you needed to know what a real Texas accent sounds like." She maintains a humorous tone throughout the speech with other jokes like, "We're gonna tell how the cow ate the cabbage" and "Poor George. Hr can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth." These humorous moments make Richards more likable to the audience, which make them more willing to be persuaded. Humor also helps …show more content…

One that really stands out is her repetition of the word "wrong" when she describes the current state of the American government. Richards speaks, "They told working mothers it's their fault... And they're wrong! They old American labor they were trying to ruin free enterprise by asking for 60 days' notice of plant closing, and that's wrong... We want answers and their answer is that 'something is wrong with you.' Well nothing's wrong with you. Nothing's wrong with you that you can't fix in November!" Repeating "wrong" over and over emphasizes her point about the poor state of the government at the time. Repeating a single word like Richards does in this passage adds conviction to her argument. The audience can tell she feels strongly about what she is speaking about and that makes them more likely to listen and hear out her arguments. This in turn aids in the persuasion

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