Tala Katarina Ram fra International School of Stavanger vant tredjepremien i 2011-utgaven av Fritt Ord-konkurransen for ungdom med et arbeid om “håpets retorikk” hos tre ulike talere. Vox Publica presenterer her Rams egen oppsummering av arbeidet. Du kan også laste ned bidraget i sin helhet (pdf).
This essay investigates how the speeches of Shoghi Effendi, Barack Obama, and Oprah Winfrey inspire hope through the creative use of rhetoric.
In a world where there are countless tragedies, it is difficult to maintain hope. All around us we can see destruction and violence, be it in the animosities of life, or in humankind itself. With such an attitudinal climate, there might be reason to allow for the most grievous of emotions: Despair. As a counterpart to hope, despair saps the very motivation that hope inspires, making our attitude apathetic and our outlook that much more tragic. It is not surprising, then, that the world leaders of this day and age look to Hope for the way forward. For as the peoples of the world tether at the edge of despair, it is to the inspirational leaders in various roles they turn to seek hope and combat their despair.Three such leaders are Shoghi Effendi as a spiritual leader, Barack Obama as a political leader, and Oprah Winfrey as a social leader, as determined by the media and popular culture of America. This essay investigates how each leader accomplishes their common goal of inspiring hope by various rhetoric devices. This is done through an in-depth study of the literary devices used in their speeches and how these devices help convey the speakers’ message of hope to their audiences. The essay explores the various techniques used to inspire, where some are reoccurring, while others remain unique to that specific speaker. Shoghi Effendi uses romantic language such as chivalrous images to inspire, whereas Obama, uses culturally specific allusions, such as historical references to events and documentation, and Oprah Winfrey in turn tends to use personal anecdotes to inspire her audience. Although varying approaches are implemented, each speaker accomplishes their ultimate aim of inspiring hope, occasionally sharing techniques, such as parallelism, to help them do so. Through the analysis of their speeches to the American people, it can be seen how they effectively communicate a long-lasting message of hope intended to last throughout multiple generations to come. In a world in sore need of inspirational leaders, these three have found the words to draw people into their message of hope, each playing a role in portraying a rewarding future, which, despite difficulties and hardships, is worth working for, and supporting the American people in maintaining hope.
In this way, the essay concludes that the language and rhetoric is used by Shoghi Effendi, Barack Obama, and Oprah Winfrey to convey the importance and value of maintaining hope, and stimulating a vision of the future which is maintained along with the motivation to actually work for a brighter future.