Jim Valvano Use Of A Persuasive Cancer Speech

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Cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States and one of three major medical problems internationally (Siegel 7). Constant donations and charity raising events are brought to the public eye in hopes to one day find a cure. In 1993, ESPN developed an award called the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to commemorate someone who demonstrates courage and do things to transcend their sporting careers. In the first year of its existence, ESPN awarded this award to Jim Valvano at the 1993 ESPYs. Valvano presented an iconic speech that chronicled his life, and brought attention to his Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research while employing many tactics of persuasion to impact the audience and effectively develop a great appeal. Before …show more content…
This is perhaps the most used method of persuasion throughout his speech. In all of the speech, Valvano tells heartwarming anecdotes and uses his natural charisma to deliver a pathos-filled speech that’s a rollercoaster of laughter and tears. Perhaps my favorite line of the speech, “Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul.”(“Jim”). He is attempting to reach the audience emotionally to allow them to understand his condition and potentially donate to his foundation. Alongside pathos, this line uses anaphora as a rhetorical strategy.. The repetition of the phrase “ it cannot touch” demonstrates this, and provides added rhythm and makes it easier for the audience to remember (“Modern”). Pathos helps to build into the message Valvano was employing that night perfectly, and kept the audience on the edge of their seats. For these reasons, I feel that pathos made his speech all the more …show more content…
This excerpt of the speech I used is on an academic website and is a form of new media. The document contains all of the five characteristics of new media, as defined by Lev Manovich: numerical representation, modularity, automation, variability, and transcoding (Manovich 27-45). As I stated, this excerpt is presented on an academic website for anyone with the Internet to view. It provides a safe space for interpretation and usage, as I am doing. From another perspective being digital allows the Jimmy V Foundation to market their message seemingly forever. The age of digital media allows for speeches and moments in history to not be forgotten. In the case of the YouTube video of the speech, one can visibly see his enthusiasm and pathos being demonstrated, making the rhetorical strategies come to life. Digitized media creates an interconnectedness across nations and allows everyone to equally enjoy all aspects of life, in this case, a 1993 speech presented by Jim Valvano. Throughout his speech, Valvano goes beyond simply using rhetorical tactics in achieving his persuasion. He utilizes anecdotes and references to people like Ralph Waldo Emerson displays true genius. I feel that the speech achieved pure effectiveness. Since 1994, The Jimmy V Foundation has received nearly two hundred dollars in research grants. They have also partnered were other passed Arthur Ashe winners such as

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