Rhetorical Analysis Of This Is Water

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In David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech “This Is Water” the main point he is trying to get across is to think differently than you are hard-wired to think. He uses multiple stories to show when and where to think differently. He introduces us to this concept with a short story about fish that aren’t aware that they are in water, except for one fish, and this confuses the other fish. He shares this story to point out that the most obvious things in life are the hardest to be aware of. For example, he tells a story about two guys in the Alaskan wilderness and neither of them would change their mind or try to understand the other one’s perspective on religion. Wallace tells this story to make the point that you shouldn’t be totally arrogant …show more content…

He talks about when you’re in line and the grocery store and it seems like the person in front of you is purposely taking as long as possible, and he uses the example of rush hour traffic and you just went to get home, and everyone around you is hocking and that one car that cuts you off, but just like you they are just trying to get to their home. Wallace tells us this hypothetical story to show that shockingly, the world doesn’t revolve around us. Even if it’s hard to come to terms with. After this story he brings up religion again and how everyone has the freedom to worship whatever they want. Whether it be spiritual, an object, or something that simply isn’t there to begin with. Wallace states that we shouldn’t be obsessed with money, power, or our own body, because then we begin to slowly feel poor, weak, and ugly, but we already think this way. It was how we are hard-wired to think. Once we realize that, and begin to think differently, that is when we truly have real freedom. He sums up his speech with a few words about how a real education isn’t really about knowledge, but it is all about simple

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