Speech : Speech By David Foster Wallace Essay

857 Words Sep 28th, 2016 4 Pages
From the beginning of recorded history, speeches have a tendency to be influential as they connect with their audience and illicit a specific thought or emotion. Continuing this custom, writer David Foster Wallace delivered his compelling commencement speech aptly titled, “Commencement Speech,” to an audience of students at Kenyon College in 2005. His purpose is to make the audience aware of our ‘default-setting’ of thinking. His ability to connect with his audience via word choice and the examples of everyday life he provides, proves his speech to be effective. Within his speech, Wallace uses a tone that is both casual and yet forewarning of the dangers of running on what he calls our ‘default-setting.’ This tone creates a relatable and powerful message to his audience as it invokes the feeling of advice from a caring friend or relative. By choosing not to sound formal and proper, his words resonate with more importance as they are filled with a personal flair and the sensation of first-hand experience of what he warns his audience about. Moreover, Wallace stops to state that he isn’t giving moral advice, but rather offering the audience a choice of how to think and operate—run on the mind’s default setting, or make a conscious effort to see an alternative version. In doing so, he constructs more credibility as he doesn’t direct the audience as to what they should do, but rather opens a door to what they could do. This is a more effective way of bringing the audience to…

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