Wangari Maathai's Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech Analysis Essay

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Wangari Maathai expresses her gratitude to the world for her Nobel Peace Prize, and also calls her audience to action. Her goal is to convince the world that the environment has much more importance than most people seem to realize. In her speech she begins by expressing her gratitude, and persuading her audience that she is worth listening to. Second she discusses the importance of the environment and explains how the Green Belt Movement has helped and changed the world. She then clarifies the problems still occurring. After establishing the problems, she goes on to make her call to action. Lastly, she ends by establishing pathos. Maathai expresses her gratitude in the beginning of the speech. She thanks all the people that made the Green Belt Movement possible to ensure that she wasn’t taking all the credit upon herself. While doing this, she is establishing her ethos. She wants her audience to realize she actually has something important to say and catches their attention. She establishes her ethos by not only expressing her gratitude and sharing the credit with others but, also by explaining why she finds the environment so important. For example, “(Her) inspiration partly comes from (her) childhood experiences and observations of Nature in rural Kenya. It has been influence and nurtured by the formal education (she) was privileged to receive in Kenya, the United States, and Germany. As (she) grew up (she) witnessed forests being cleared and replaced by commercial plantations, which destroyed local biodiversity and the capacity of the forests to conserve water,” (¶8). By saying this she states she has seen environmental destruction and her diction within this statement, the simple but meaningful word “destroyed” proves that she didn’t like what she saw. Secondly, she explains the importance of the environment. She takes a more educational/bias approach now. She explains only the importance of taking care of the environment and never any disadvantages or...
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