Paul Keating Funeral Service Speech Analysis

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Lauren Richards
Unknown Australian Soldier Speech Analysis:

The purpose of Prime Minister Paul Keating’s speech ‘Funeral Service of an Unknown Australian Soldier’ was to affirm Australia’s culture and values through reflection on the symbolic power of the sacrifice of the Unknown Australian soldier in World War One. In this patriotic speech he explores the paradox that an ordinary person can achieve the same kind of greatness as the unknown Australian Soldier. He says “It was a lesson about ordinary people- and the lesson was that they were not ordinary.” Keating uses this concept to develop his view of the Australian identity and sees this identity “as free and independent” and essentially democratic. He elevates the Unknown Soldier as a symbol of democracy and uses him to define “what it means to be Australian.” Therefor paradoxically he argues that the Unknown Soldier will continue to serve his country in the future as a symbol of unification. Keating’s message is there for aimed at unifying his audience with inclusive language. At the beginning of the speech he repeatedly uses “we do not know.” This use of anaphora allows him to symbolise every person in Australia, regardless of race, gender, religion or social class. The emphasis on “we” shows that Keating is including himself with his audience. Keating’s use of critical Statistics such as “he was one of the 45000 Australian’s who died on the Western front” creates a sense of awe and honour the contribution and sacrifice of this Australian as well as enable present Australian’s to acknowledge past Australian war efforts, which henceforth preserved the Australian way of life. Keating makes these points in very plain, simple colloquial language and short sentences for example “He is all of them. And he is one of us.” This reiterates the point that the Soldier is symbolic of everyone within the Australian community and makes the Audience feel incredibly proud to be represented by someone who fought so...
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