Rhetorical Analysis Of Jk Rowley Speech

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Rhetorical Analysis – J.K. Rowling “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination” The author of the famous Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling held this speech during a graduation ceremony at Harvard University. The speech was to the Harvard graduates from June 5, 2008 and was held outside in the famous ‘Old Harvard Yard’ as a tradition. The purpose of the speech was to celebrate and congratulate the graduating class. Her speech is a motivational speech for the graduates but as well a form of occasion speech because it has experience, comfort, empathy, and humor. She gives encouraging words to make them proud of their achievements. The target audience is the graduates, their families, and the teachers. Her tone in the speech…show more content…
She only needs one reference to Harry Potter and then everyone knows who she is. She uses a lot of energy on humor in the first part. Maybe because she is nervous, which she indicates that she is with “But the weeks of fear and nausea I have endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation!” (Page 1, column 1, line 7-10) maybe she wants to get rid of her nervousness or perhaps she just wants a bond with the audience before talking more serious. She uses ethos here because the speech is from a graduation and she’s an expert in graduating because she experienced it herself and she has an excellent life now. “Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners and convince myself that I am at the world’s largest Gryffindor reunion” (Page 1, column 1, line 10-13) This is an allusion because it’s a reference to her well-known Harry Potter book series. This reference is very good, because many people know of her work and therefore they will relate to the content. “I have decided to talk to you about the benefits of failure. And as you stand in the threshold of what is sometimes called ‘real life’, I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination” (Page 1, column 2, line 11-13) This is a metaphor, cause it’s comparing graduating to walking through a threshold into ‘real life.’ This is effective because it shows that the students are about to leave the…show more content…
This is used as a memo technique/mnemonic technique at speeches – to tell a story about herself and then angling it into the exact message, because people remember stories better. She uses a kind of home out home with the fantasy, figuratively speaking– she starts with mentioning fantasy and ends it with “As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters” (Page 5, column 2, line
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