Rhetorical Analysis Of First Lady Barbara Bush's Speech

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First Lady Barbara Bush, a non-college graduate, stay at home mother, and wife of then President George H.W. Bush, was asked to be the commencement speaker at Wellesley, a liberal, private women’s college. The feedback to this invitation was an eruption of bellicosity from a sizably voluminous portion of the Wellesley graduating class, a group of women who believed vigorously in female empowerment and feminism. Though despite her hapless circumstances headed into the speech, Bush was able to convert the audience’s initial reaction of repudiation into approbation. As shown throughout Barbara Bush’s speech, she effectively establishes credibility, capturing the audience through her use of personal experiences and stories. Combining these with …show more content…

Being aware of this, bush knew she would have to first work on winning over her audience before delivering her message. She began her speech, in a gesture of courtesy and kindness, thanking the university president for the kind prelude, thanking the guests, and addressed the crowd of graduates- even though she knew audience who wasn’t in support of her speech abilities. By carrying herself in a virtuous manner, Bush is perceived as both polite as well as letting the audience know that the protests would not phase her speech. She does an admirable job being vigilant and addressing her audience; women graduating from Wellesley and entering the “real world”. Bush emphasizes the excitement during the 21st century, which is the world the women will join into after college, through repetition, “These are exciting times they're exciting in Washington.” This quote also introduces the importance of time in both to graduates life, as well as the world. Not only does she fixate on the fact that these women are graduates moving on to an incipient phase in their lives, but additionally that they are all women, which heavily influences the rest of her …show more content…

She reiterates the word “dream” an abundance of times, “…to realize her dream, not society’s dream, her own dream” to which draws importance to the concept of following your dream. Bush additionally wants the audience to take away the sense of appreciation towards family, she directly asks the crowd to do something, “You must read to your children, and you must hug your children, and you must love your children.” The utilization of repetition helps to clearly accentuates the consequentiality of family. Bush uses repetition several times within her speech, to identify the points she is endeavoring to make, all while enhancing content of the

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