Choose two prescribed speeches and write an essay where, through close analysis of specific aspects of the speeches, you demonstrate the speeches textual integrity. We Recognise a text as possessing textual integrity when we see form, structure and language producing a unified conceptual whole. The speeches ‘Spotty-Handed Villainesses’ by Margret Atwood and ‘Faith, Hope and Reconciliation’ by Faith Bandler, represent how a combination of structure, form, language as well as exploring the human condition can raise a particular speech to new levels of relevance to future audiences.
Both speeches showcase a textual integrity, which has successfully merged structure, form and language with the art of rhetoric. Even though the two speeches vary in their ideas, they address two key facets of the human condition that have challenged mankind for countless centuries; the equality between both race and genders. Margret Atwood’s “Spotty-Handed Villainesses”, is an Epideictic speech on equality that creates enough integrity in regards to not only its technical features but also how it explores meaning and value to exceed its immediate context and maintain relevance in today’s society.
Atwood’s speech was delivered in 1994 at the time when feminism and feminist views were a hot topic. A paradox in her speech is that she supports feminism however disapproves with extremist, feminist views. The purpose of the speech is to provide the audience with an insight into the portrayal of women, in particular female villains in fiction. Atwood establishes this purpose immediately in the beginning by the way she introduces her title and subtitle in a very straightforward approach.
Atwood shows off her literary expertise by using tropes and literary allusions, merged with a conversational tone during the speech. These help to express Atwood’s message on a personal level that helps her connect with her audience, which in turn generates a high level of textual integrity. Atwood refers to the feminine term ‘Villainesses’ with three consecutive anaphoric phrases, “Spot as in guilt, spot as in blood, spot as in ‘out, damned,” This is a literary allusion to Shakespeare’s famous character Lady Macbeth from ‘Macbeth’, that further develops textual integrity within the speech.
Atwood goes on by referring to a number of key issues and concerns about how women are seen in literature by using hypophora. She then counters this by using a personal anecdote of her daughters “breakfast” presentation to form a connection with the audience. A major element of the speeches textual integrity is how she uses of an array of techniques including allusions, motifs and symbolism etc. Atwood’s central motif of “the eternal breakfast” is one of the essential concepts, which enhance the speeches textual integrity as gives itself to a number of ironic literary allusions.
Atwood employs humour mixed with biblical allusions to emphasise how imperfections are a part of human nature, when she says, “God- who is among other things, an author- is just as enamoured of character flaws and dire plots as we human writers are. ” Atwood includes colloquialism as seen in the line, “flogging a few dead horses,” This makes her speech more accessible to the audience and the way she humours them is engaging.
Another example being the humorous simile, “like wrestling a greased pig in the dark,” Atwood’s speech ends with a trope and a general declaration to women to embrace their ‘evil’ side as Atwood quotes a notable historical figure— Dame Rebecca West saying, “Ladies…we have not enough evil in us” This is a great way to end the speech as the purpose of the speech is to provide insights on how women are not portrayed as villains in literature and this quote is therefore offering a solution to the problem.
Atwood demonstrates that a broad array of rhetorical techniques doesn’t suppress meaning, it enhances it, as her use of form, structure and language create not just a unified conceptual whole, but enough textual integrity to maintain relevance to modern audiences. Faith Bandler’s ‘Faith, Hope and Reconciliation’ embodies a speech that uses from structure and language to produce a unified conceptual whole, thus giving it textual integrity. She was an renowned aboriginal activist, involved in the 1966 referendum, and awarded the Order of Australia in 1984 for furthering the cause for Aboriginal rights.
The primary focus of Faith Bandler’s speech is the reconciliation between white and indigenous Australians. It is about saying sorry and about the recognition of Native Title. ‘Faith, Hope and Reconciliation’ symbolises how the use of powerful techniques, rhetorical devices and influential speech join to develop a connection to the audience audience, that not only challenges the audience but gives them a sense of satisfaction The informal tone is immediately conveyed through the title “Faith, Hope and Reconciliation,” which is a pun on Bandler’s name.
Bandler underlines her standing as an Aboriginal activist through personal anecdotes, “I was here before,” this helps to appeal to ethos. The informal tone which is apparent throughout the speech is conveyed in this section of the speech through the use of the person pronouns “I” and “you”. Bandler skilfully starts to appeal to pathos by the way she uses abstract nouns, “shame and anger,” and adding a pause in-between, creates an emotional intensity in her speech.
This emotional intensity is one of the major concepts that heighten the speeches textual integrity. Bandler maintains the emotional intensity throughout the speech by using differing techniques and by the way she changes from pathos to. For example; the use of the hyperbole “mass murder,” and the amplification of “millions”, Bandler also employs, biblical allusions, cliches, juxtapositions and rhetoric questions to expand the speeches meaning and value, thus forming further textual integrity.
A number of biblical allusions are incorporated within the speech including “in the name of creation,” and “It can move mountains. ” Bandler also employs cliches to uphold the link to the audience but also maintain the informal tone seen throughout the speech. This is seen through the lines, “set in stone,” “the task is yet to be tackled,” “not handed on a platter,” Juxtaposition is used to stress the speeches purpose, “They are chained in their stubbornness, but we are free. and ”Lightening the burden of the terrible baggage,” The decisive technique that she uses is the rhetorical questions that challenge the audience to consider her message. The most significant example being the final line when she creates a sense of urgency; “If not now, when? Is not us, who? ” It is clear that Faith Bandler’s successful use of numerous techniques mixed with the art of rhetoric to advance the speeches meaning, value and textual integrity.
Texts like speeches are created to reveal specific ideals that aim to motivate the audience and provide insight into the human condition. However concepts and revelations revealed in a speech are useless without the use of form, language and structure to create enough textual integrity outlast its context and appeal to future audiences. The speeches “Spotty Handed Villainesses” and “Faith, Hope and Reconciliation” can both be regarded as a unified conceptual whole that possess textual integrity due to their coherent use of language, form and structure.
January 9, 2018
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