Paul Hawken made the speech on May 3, 2009 in the University of Portland in Oregon, USA. Paul Hawken’s message was directed to the graduating students of the university. His message aimed at giving hope to the students who could not see the hope of obtaining an employment after graduating with their various diplomas. Culturally, graduating students all over the globe are always eager about employment because the economic hardships have diminished the hope of employment. Despite the good qualifications, graduates are no longer guaranteed of a good job. In his speech, Paul Hawken encourages the graduates that, ‘you are brilliant’ and that “the earth is hiring” (Hawken par. 4).
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These statements can conjure the security as well as optimism. The use of ‘you’ connects the audience to the speaker, which is similar connection derived from a face-to-face conversation. The use of brilliant contrary to other terms such as intelligent inspires the listener. This is because only outstanding and few people possess that quality. Brilliant is used rarely and in weighty situations. The use of earth rather than people means that the listener is almost becoming a humanity officer, not just an official employee. Paul Hawken’s speech was timely because it was a turbulent period of war, natural calamities, global instability, and economic wreck. Despite all the turbulent, his speech managed to encourage the audience and made them believe in the opportunities at their disposal as well as believe in their capabilities. The speech has tremendous inferences for our current and future as men on earth. Paul Hawken has a personal connection to the listener, inspiration source as well as logic, which produce a rhetorically triumphant speech on numerous levels.
To begin with, the speaker’s connection to his audience makes the speech to function. Paul Hawken is an activist of the environment, an author, an entrepreneur, and a dreamer, which qualifies him as a speaker for the graduating audience. Through this, the speaker creates a good reputation thereby proving his credibility. The speaker is trustworthy because he claims that, “When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was “direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful…no pressure there” (Hawken par. 1). By stating that no pressure means that he was ready to deliver according to the specifications, which makes the speaker respectable. The statement also depicts the good character of the speaker.
The speech would be ignored to provide a common ground amid the class of anxious seniors and his speech. The speech was at the student’s scariest moments to graduate for any given student in the past. The period was characterized by the economic instability, scarcity of jobs, and house marketing problems. A graduate featured in a magazine tagging a “Hire Me” paper on his graduation cap. The 2009 graduating class was faced with challenges, which have never been experienced by previous graduates. Paul Hawken established a connection as well as a common ground with the graduates by reassuring them that their four years in college were worth something. The speaker was thus able to appeal to pathos because his words evoked the feeling of confidence and optimism. This is evident when Paul Hawken stated that, “You are brilliant and the earth is hiring” (Hawken par. 4). Soon thereafter, he states, “when asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer…beauty to this world” (Hawken par. 5). These words reassured the class regardless of where each student aimed to work.
The speech thrives on a different level when Paul Hawken clarifies the foundation of his optimism. The human population is the main idea behind his hope for the future of the earth. He mentions several writers, speakers, philanthropists, and scientists among others who have claimed that the hope of humankind is in the hands of those willing to transform the manner we view the world. Paul Hawken cites Rich who stated that, “so much has been destroyed that I have cast my lot with those who…reconstitute the world” (Hawken par. 5). Nobody should doubt what Paul Hawken says because he openly states that he considers the graduates brilliant, and the graduates as well as others before them inspire him. His speech is directed to all graduates as well as others considering them an associate of the human population. His hope for the future comes from their actions. This is rhetorically successful because he has loaded the audience with delight of contributing to his optimism. The speech would not resonate properly if he had said the source of his optimism was merely blind hope. The audience believes they possess special human qualities that will offer a better tomorrow because he has explained the confidence he has in their future. Thus, the speech is inspirational and extremely heart-warming thereby appealing to pathos.
Additionally, Paul Hawken speech is logical. In case the speech was a thread of compliments concerning the brilliance of humanity lacking any basis or evidence, Paul Hawken would come across as merely inflating the egos of the students. He cites many exemplars of humanitarian actions, which have shaped the globe although the most convincing was his relatively generalized statement concerning the current generation. He says, “you join a multitude of caring people…it provide hope, support…not in force” (Hawken par. 6). Some would think the statement is over-generalized, which to some extent is correct. However, no one could dispute that the statement is false. Most people are aware of similar groups who put the better good ahead of personal interests. THON would be the best example of the group in Penn State for most students. Countrywide, the EPA and PETA are the common suppliers of reports each day in addition to other activist groups. No one would refute that this is the largest movement in account. What used to be the problem in the past is not a problem today, and we are arguing about other issues such as equal opportunity. Paul Hawken to ground his argument uses the point that individuals currently respect human life than in previous years.
Further, the speech is logic because Paul Hawken provides evidence to ground his arguments for instance when he says, “peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement” (Hawken par. 2).
One strength of the essay is that it has analyzed rhetorically the setting in which the speech was made. This includes the name of the speaker, his audience as well as his message. The essay has made connections of the speech with the culture, which is common for graduating students to be anxious of what to expect in the new world they are entering. The essay has explained the appeals, which is the way the text engages the reader. The essay has shown how the text appeals to the ethos, pathos, and logos. This is through showing the credibility of the speaker who is an activist of the environment, an author, an entrepreneur, and a dreamer. The essay has proved the logic of the speech’s message and has illustrated the emotions of the audience who became inspired. The essay has shown that the speaker used analysis and comparison of the past and current situations to deliver his message. Last, the essay has described the medium of communication to deliver the message to the audience. An area that requires improvement is the expression of medium of communication used by the speaker although it is similar to one-on-one conversation. However, I cannot clarify it well in the essay.
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