Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Essay examples --

In today’s society, one of the most natural human traits is selfishness. David Foster Wallace incorporated this idea in his commencement speech at Kenyon College in 2005. Wallace aims to persuade his audience that, â€Å"the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about.† Although the intended audience of his speech is the graduates and staff, along with their friends and family, the piece has become quite popular since its delivery. Wallace offers, â€Å"nothing less than the truth† and captivates the listeners with his complete honestly. His personal tone lets the audience feel like they are a part of the conversation, rather than just receiving it. Wallace successfully conveys his message that society is blind to the world around them through the use of logic, humility and emotional appeals. The speech is arranged into short paragraphs, providing an example in almost every one. Everyone is familiar with commencement speeches. They are usually used to congratulate a group of people and tend to be looking towards the future. Instead of congratulating the students at Kenyon College, Wallace challenges them. The essay opens with a metaphor about two young fish that do not realize what water is, setting the tone for the rest of the speech. Wallace proceeds to describe how completely oblivious society is to the world around us, just like the fish. Wallace supports this claim through examples within the speech. His use of examples rather than facts or statistics weakens his claim. If more facts or statistics were used his claim would become more convincing. His rationalization come in the form of the short stories that illustrate the choices people make in their everyday lives. He... ...ow the audience to visualize the event and becomes more relatable. Listeners are able to emotionally identify with the situation and reflect in order to give other the benefit of the doubt. The speech could be improved with more facts or statistics. Wallace uses rhetorical devices to create his argument, which could be seen as ironic due to his death. He attempted to influence others but struggled with an everyday battle that he could not overcome. His approach to life is understood, but maintaining that approach proves to be difficult. Through the use of dramatization and figurative language, Wallace is able to appeal the audience and leave them with the idea that, â€Å"It is about simple awareness—awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: ‘This is water, this is water’†.

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