In David McCullough’s June 2012 Commencement Speech You Are Not Special, he argues that no one is really special. In this speech he is saying that everyone is alike somewhere and somehow. Even though he is seems to be bashing the graduating class, he still adds encouraging words. Throughout the whole speech he continuously states that you are not special, but then ending the speech with saying, “You are not special because everyone is. ” I argue that both McCullough and Sierra use the strategies of adding comparison, list, and emotion to make their speech and article convincing.
An article in response to McCullough’s speech, Open Letter from a millennial: Quit Telling Us We Are Not Special written by a woman named Sierra on June 25, 1012. Her response argues that this speech is not appropriate for the graduating class who are ready to take on the world. McCullough’s speech should be aimed towards the parent’s generation. Sierra states that the parents are responsible for the problems their children face. In the real world the high school diploma is worthless.
Comparisons are used in both McCullough’s and Sierras work. Sierra uses the comparisons to compare what we know now to our childhood memories, such as the tooth fairy. “We stopped believing in our own specialness around the same time we stopped believing in the tooth fairy. ” She is saying that at a young age, we realized that we are not as special as everyone said we were. McCullough uses comparisons as well. In the beginning of his speech he compares the high school diploma to marriage.
A speech that introduces the main speaker to the audience. 3 purposes in introduction: * Build enthusiasm for the upcoming speaker * Build enthusiasm for the speaker’s topic * Establish a welcoming climate that will boost the speaker’s credibility Something about speaker -> Topic 1. Be brief (max. 2-3 mins) 2. Make sure remarks are accurate (get facts, names etc. right) 3. Adapt remarks to ...
Unlike marriages, we cannot separate, divorce, from our diplomas, like we could our spouses. Both McCullough and Sierra use lists to persuade their audience. In Sierras article she uses list to show how as children and teenagers we depend on our parents. Stating that they do work for you, and then call you lazy or telling and teacher that an “A” is not good enough and the list continues. She uses list to get her point across. Rather than just stating one fact, she gives them all. In McCullough’s speech, he uses lists as well.
He states that children have been pampered, fed, catered to, and so on. He uses this to get across that we have been babied our entire lives, so will we be prepared for the real world? He also uses list with statistics stating that somewhere someone is just like you. McCullough uses “There are 3. 2 million seniors from 37,000 high schools. ” He continues on with the numbers of class presidents, swagger jackers, and pairs of Uggs. This is to get across that no one is different and there is always another person with the exact same thing as you.
McCullough uses more humor. This makes the speech less offensive to the audience. While reading this speech you don’t notice the humor much, but when actually viewing the speech it is more humorous to the crowd. What some might think is humorous others might not. In conclusion, even though both use similar strategies in their work McCullough’s article is more persuasive. He makes you actually think that you are not special by adding comparisons, lists and emotions.