Essay about A Left Handed Commencement Speech By Ursula K Le Guin

840 Words Sep 27th, 2015 4 Pages
In her 1983 commencement address, “A Left-Handed Commencement Speech,” Ursula K Le Guin offers a very straightforward yet motivational message to graduates of Mills College, an all female school. She states that women are foreigners in an extremely male-dominated society full of aggression and power and emphasizes her argument that women are peaceful compared to men, thus highlighting the difference between the two genders. She encourages her audience to live and succeed on their own terms rather than emulating “Machoman” by creating an emotional connection with her audience, establishing her credibility, and crafting an image of woman’s own country that effectively stresses the separation between men and women but appeals to the need for equality.
Although Le Guin swiftly sets about pointing out the differences between men and women, she is very quick to make sure that she is not excluding herself from the group of women she is attempting to address. In her opening lines she states “...the language of our tribe is the men 's language. Of course women learn it. We 're not dumb.” (Le Guin) Even as she is making the distinction between the two genders in this quote, she is connecting herself to women by using the word “we.” She doesn’t say “they’re not dumb,” but instead chooses to associate herself with the women she is addressing. Throughout the speech she doesn’t simply speak in second person as one might expect from a typical commencement speech. She addresses the…

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