Essay Rhetorical Analysis Of David Foster Wallace 's Speech

1128 Words Sep 18th, 2015 null Page
Deciding whether a speech, commercial, essay, or novel is persuasive can be a matter of opinion. With the right evidence and argument, anyone can prove their opinion. In 2005, David Foster Wallace gave the commencement speech for the graduates of Kenyon College. His speech was unlike others but overall was effective because of the relatable style, sincere and earnest tone, and the audience.
The most recognizable characteristic that contributes to the effectiveness in Wallace 's speech is his style. The first component of his style begins right at the start of the speech when he tells the story of the fish. This is a parable and he uses these as a technique to engage the audience. Each of these parables have a different message behind them, but each meaning contributes to Wallace 's main purpose of this speech. For example, the story of the atheist and the religious man demonstrates blind-certainty and close-mindedness. Wallace tells this story to introduce the idea of thinking critically about others ' views, but more importantly to have the audience question their own beliefs.
Another author that uses parables in his novel Out of Sheer Rage, is Geoff Dyer. Dyer tells a short parable of a delicatessen in his town. For some reason they are always out of the luxury doughnut that he depends on. He shares his thoughts of wanting to burn down the delicatessen with everyone inside. Although his reaction is the opposite of what Wallace advises to do, the story gives comedic…

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