A Speech On A Commencement Speech Essay

1065 Words Oct 14th, 2015 5 Pages
“About all a commencement speaker can really do is to suggest a couple of things that [he or] she believes really matters” (“Graduation Wisdom”). Sue Monk Kidd stated this while addressing the graduates of Scripps College. On May 21, 2005 Kenyon College graduation welcomed David Foster Wallace, an American novelist, for their commencement address. A prime example of Kidd’s statement, Wallace stated in the address that “suicide’s [victims] are actually long dead before they pull the trigger” (Wallace 4). His address titled This Is Water was delivered to the graduating class of 2005 before taking his own life in 2008. Wallace establishes trust with his audience through the use of informal language during his speech. He achieves validity in his speech by forming a connection outside of his target audience, and appeals to his audience through his use of informal language and overall genuine demeanor. In doing such, David Foster Wallace’s “This Is Water” successfully delivers his message to his target audience. Kenyon College is a private liberal arts university in Gambier, OH with enrollment listed on their website just short of 2,000 students. Tuition and fees total to about just under $50,000 per year (“About Kenyon”). Kenyon College also states on their website that they “welcome openness.” Typically, liberal arts students are very open to new experiences provided by interactions with new people with varying/different ideals. Wallace’s target audience consisted of hundreds…

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