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Rhetorical Analysis of a Speech PDF

Added on - 25 Jan 2022

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Rhetorical Analysis of a Speech
Introduction
Societal pressures and the continued rise in living standards are increasingly causing
stress to individuals. The insurmountable challenges that people face daily can result in failures
in one or various aspects of a person’s life. In such cases, people fail to attain their goals and
meet social expectations, which can make them lose hope and think that they are worthless and
valueless. An expansive and exhaustive view on life is required to make people resilient and turn
the tables around. Encouragement will be vital to motivate individuals to restart again and begin
walking on the road of progress. In his speech “Your Value,” Jeremy Anderson uses an analogy
of a dollar bill to motivate his audience and discourage them from giving up in life. The video
“Your Value” emphasizes the need to understand the importance of every individual. The video
was captured during a motivational talk. It was uploaded on YouTube by Ben Lionel Scott.
Video Introduction
The speaker in the video is Jeremy Anderson. He is an author, educational consultant,
and motivational speaker. He has given talks in various youth ministries, educational workshops,
spiritual empowerment, and motivational sessions. Many schools and youths have benefitted
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from his powerful and life-changing motivational speeches. In the video “Your Value,” he
explores the inherent characteristics of an individual or item. He reminds the audience that a
person’s or a thing’s value remains constant despite undergoing all manner of suffering, torture,
or failure. Notably, there are key things that the viewer can identify at a glance. They include the
following: the confidence of the speaker, the use of the dollar bill, the involvement of the
audience, and the clarity of the video. From the voices of the people responding to Anderson’s
questions, they can be assumed to be teenagers in a school hall.
Rhetorical Analysis
Understanding the meaning and what rhetorical analysis entails is vital in its exploration.
The rhetorical analysis involves the exploration of how speakers and writers use words to capture
the attention of listeners and readers and influence them in the process (Leach 220). Undertaking
a rhetorical analysis is vital in fulfilling the following things; first, it is to understand whether the
speaker or author was able to inform, entertain, or persuade the listeners as expected. Second, it
is to identify whether the speaker is credible. Third, it is to explore whether the speaker
connected with the audience. Anderson had to utilize rhetorical strategies, for example, pathos,
ethos, and logos, to capture the attention of the audience and persuade them to take the right
action. This paper explores how Anderson employed the aforementioned persuasive elements to
create a bond with the audience and convince the listeners that they need to not give up in life
because there is something inside them despite the challenges they are facing.
Actual Analysis of the “Your Value” Video
Logos
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Anderson utilizes logos to create rapport with the audience. Leach argues that logos is based on
the application of well-reasoned arguments to deliver the underlying message (210). The
audience, which is presumably composed of students, is a reflection of a group that is well-
informed but has to endure a lot of challenges in their academic journey. Anderson asks, “this is
a dollar bill; if I go to a shop can it buy something worth 96 cents (Anderson 0:25)?” The
question is used to ascertain the value of the dollar. Here, Anderson uses something familiar to
the audience as the starting point of delivering his message. He demonstrates that something
negative has occurred on the dollar bill by stepping on it, folding it, and cutting it into two. He
asks, “what if I step on it, fold it and throw it in the dust bin Anderson (01:23)?” The audience
insists that the value does not change. Whatever happens to the dollar bill is done while
everybody is watching, and they all know the outcome.
Pathos
Anderson employs pathos to persuade and encourage the audience to adopt his ideas and take the
right action in life. According toFinlayson and Martin, pathos is pegged on triggering the
emotional sensibilities of listeners (450). Andersons appeals to the feelings of the audience by
personifying most of his statements by using the phrase “I” and “you.” Here, he ensures that the
listeners imagine themselves as part of the activities he is doing. He says, “The moment you feel
like you have been stepped on, you have been abandoned, you have been talked about” in
reference to the listeners (Anderson 2:06). The audience relates directly to the stories of being
abandoned and other things that make someone suffer. He says, “I want to assure you that you
have value (Anderson 2:44).” The statement serves as an assurance to the audience that they are
valuable.
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