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Great Speeches in Time

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jrameriz18
Words 664
Pages 3
Jada Rameriz
Putnam Frosh Writing
F Block ELA

Great speakers have a way with words. Subtle patterns flow throughout their speeches in ways that even they might not realize. It can be clearly seen with some of the greatest speakers seen; Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Jimmy Valvano, and Steve Jobs. All of them share common threads throughout their speeches, and that’s what makes them great. Their unique tones and methods of conveying their message shows their excellence. By use of tone and sharing personal stories or alluding to other texts, great speakers convey their messages in many ways.

In his speech, Martin Luther King Jr. creates a distinct and professional style by use of literary devices to convey his message. MLK’s use of literary devices provides emphasis and strengthens his hopeful, unified, and well-prepared speech. MLK often uses allusions to different texts within his speech in order to get a point across, such as referencing historical texts to bring out feelings of patriotism in the audience. MLK’s message is one of unity and equality, which is eloquently proposed to the audience through his well-usage of literary devices. By unifying his speech in this manner and showing different texts as equal in value, MLK also approaches the audience with the idea that they are all equally as important as well.

RFK’s speech on the death of MLK has a very somber and mourning tone, but still proves it’s greatness despite the speaker’s unpreparedness. As the speech was unprepared, RFK does not purposefully use many literary devices as MLK did, though he does on occasion use repetition and allusion to other texts and events. RFK’s message is one of passing the torch; one can kill the messenger, but never the message.

Jimmy Valvano’s speech is similar to RFK’s speech in the matter that is had not been previously prepared, but it is also much more casual in comparison to other speeches. Valvano has a comforting presence when he speaks. His message is one of living life to the fullest, and he conveys this message by often repeating three things of importance. The reptation of the number three puts emphasis on the three topics he mentions, which directly relate to his message of life. The speech’s tone, in itself, is similar to the three things Valvano advises the audience to do everyday. He advises the audience to laugh, think, and cry. Similarly, Valvano’s speech can move you to do these things. His optimism, hope, and stories from his life make one want to smile and laugh, his personal connection with the audience and informative advice pushes the audience to think, and his emotional stories moves the audience to tears. Valvano creates a bond with the audience though these stories., which provides for a more emotionally impacting speech.

Similar to Jimmy Valvano’s speech, Steve Jobs’ speech also shares personal stories, which helps him connect more with the audience. Similarly to Valvano’s as well, Jobs brings up the idea of threes once more, this time with his three personal stories. Steve Jobs’ message tells the audience to trust intuition and live life. Jobs’ speech is still different, however, in the prospect that Jobs’ is more professional and practiced, elegantly weaving a tale of his life in a way to influence the audience to trust his words and take his advice; stay hungry, stay foolish.

As previously mentioned, many great speeches share common threads. RFK and Jimmy Valvano’s speeches are both detailed and emotional, despite being unprepared. Steve Jobs and Jimmy Valvano both create bonds with the audience by sharing stories from their lives. MLK and Steve Jobs’ prepared speeches are eloquent and professional, clearly proving their own personal messages. Each of their individual methods of applying literary devices helps convey their message and add to the tone of their speech. These are what add depth to the speech, and so are the underlying common threads that make speeches such as these so great.

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