Posts Tagged "Essay"

Rhetorical Analysis Rough Draft

Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 in Work In Progress | 2 comments

The now famous “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech, orated by the great Malcolm X is classified as an essential and groundbreaking piece of lecture towards the black community and society as a whole. The speech utilizes the rhetorical proofs of logos and ethos to deliver and emphasize his critical point.  The speech is characterized as a call-to-action towards black people and a means to immobilize blacks into voting and reclaiming their communities and lives.  Malcolm X’s “Ballot or the Bullet” speech lends itself to the progression of the African American community due to its use of unifying statements and aggressive ultimatums.  The combination of logos and ethos in the speech collaborate in order to create a piece of oration that is not only withstanding but also politically relevant to this day.

Malcolm X begins his speech by establishing his political and personal position. He delivers concise statements concerning his religion, “I’m still a Muslim” and his political stance, “I’m a black Nationalist Freedom Fighter”. By doing this at the beginning of the speech and also reiterating these points throughout; Malcolm X establishes a trust with his audience.  In addition to instituting a rapport with his audience from the start of the oration, Malcolm X uses statements that are intended to unify his audience and the black community as a whole. He frequently talks about the common fights and issues that plague the African American community. In doing this, he establishes a commonplace with his audience.

In the speech, Malcolm X uses an unusual brand of pathos. He frequently uses aggressive and rousing statements in order to spur the crowd into action. His use of ultimatums such as, “the ballot or the bullet” forces his listeners to make a definite choice. Even though his methods may anger or cause discomfort in people, they are necessary for this type of rhetoric. His tone comes across as not only angry and frustrated but also pleading. Given the context; during racial discrimination and turmoil in this country, it makes sense for Malcolm X to talk this way.


Remaining Outline

1. Expand further into the finer points of Ethos and Pathos and how they connect to the document

2. Talk of the effects of the speech and examine if they are due closely in part to the rhetorical proofs

3. Conclusion:  Tie up the uses of Ethos and Pathos in connection to the paper

          Sum up the historical/political effects of the speech on the communityand society

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