Analysis Of Ann Richards's Keynote Address

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Ann Richards presented her Keynote Address to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in 1988. Descriptive analysis aims to understand the purpose of a work, and the methods used to achieve that purpose. There are six elements, not including purpose, that can be strategically used to achieve a goal: persona, audience, tone, structure, supporting materials, and other strategies (Campbell and Burkholder 21). This rhetorical analysis examines how Ann Richards uses persona during her Keynote Address to the 1988 Democratic National Convention to convince listeners that the current government is dividing the country and that equality for all is important.
In order for a speaker to be successful, the audience must identify with what they are saying.
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She begins her speech by attempting to win over the audience, joking, “I'm delighted to be here with you this evening, because after listening to George Bush all these years, I figured you needed to know what a real Texas accent sounds like” (Richards). Throughout the speech she chose to use the word ‘we’ a lot, because it personifies her as an average American citizen, with the same issues as the people in the audience. It provides her audience with a connection to her, and allows them to identify and feel understood. She identifies herself as a Democrat, and she’s speaking to other Democrats about how it is time to take back the government from the Republican party who has mishandled it. At one point she states, “This Republican Administration treats us as if we [are] pieces of a puzzle that can’t fit together” (Richards). This lets her audience know she feels the same as they do, and that there is something to be done to change …show more content…
She briefly mentions aspects of equality throughout her speech, but the stories and analogies that she uses really drive home her point. Because she is a woman who has experienced discrimination based on gender, she is seen as a credible source. Pointing out the history of gender inequality at the DNC, Richards states, “Twelve years ago Barbara Jordan… made the keynote address to this convention, and two women in a hundred and sixty years is about par for the course.” While equality isn’t the main purpose of her speech, these small acts remind that audience that equality is important, and shouldn’t ever be ignored. As mentioned previously, Richards persona also includes her Democratic identity. She reminds her audience that, “we Democrats believe… that we can come out of a small town or a poor neighborhood and have the same chance as anyone else; and it doesn’t matter whether we are black or Hispanic or disabled or a [woman]” (Richards). With the support of the persona she established throughout her speech, Ann Richards convinces her audience that everyone deserves to be

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