Mary Fisher Analysis

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Mrs Fisher opens with a metaphor of a shroud of silence draped over the public’s eyes, a beautiful and poetic representation of the ignorance about AIDS that clouds society. She clearly states her purpose: to bring the silence—the fear—to an end. Her goals are further emphasized with the use of antithesis “I want you attention, not your applause”, stressing the solemnity of the issue and her own selfless dedication to the cause. She is very open and optimistic about her own battle with AIDS, which makes her more relatable, and causes the audience to be more sympathetic, more attentive to what she has to say. Stating the shocking statistics about AIDS related deaths, and future predictions provide fact that appeal to logos, making the audience realize the dire situation of AIDS. She outwardly states that the current effort is simply not enough—the epidemic is winning. She asks that everybody recognize AIDS is not a political creature, and while addressing everybody, from different parties, religions, age groups et cetera. Using “ask” makes her appeal very sincere, and the thoroughness of her address reaches out to everybody, telling them everybody is at risk of contracting AIDS, no matter their differences. She starts an extended metaphor that personifies AIDS as a killer, a monster. Fisher elaborates on her point that AIDS knows no boundaries with the metaphor of an unwillingly drafted army. She uses comparisons of herself, a white, happily married mother to a struggling black infant in a hospital, as well as a lonely gay man out on the streets to stress the chance that anyone could contract AIDS. Her use of striking imagery really hits a chord with listeners. The bleak image truly conjures sympathy, and the contrast between her own happiness, and loving and supportive family with the less fortunate, ostracized and dehumanized victims of AIDS appeals strongly to pathos, changing the audience’s mood so that they want to make a change. She once again uses...
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