7 April 2014
Rhetorical Analysis of “A Whisper of AIDS” Speech
The speech titled “A Whisper of AIDS” was given by Mary Fisher on August 19th, 1992 in Houston Texas at the 1992 Republican National Convention Address. Mary Fisher is an American political activist, author, artist and daughter of a wealthy and powerful republican, Max Fisher. Mary Fisher has become an advocate on AIDS prevention and education after she contracted the disease from her second husband. In the speech “A Whisper of Aids”, Mary Fisher uses the rhetorical appeals of ethos, logos, and pathos to express her opinions about how AIDS is not something to be ashamed of.
Fisher spoke in a way that demanded the audience’s attention and respect from the moment that she started speaking. She sounds stern when she states “I want your attention, not your applause” (Paragraph 1, line 3). Just being who she was gave her the credibility and the use of ethos she needed in order to make people listen. She also uses ethos in a way to make you know that she is obviously important when she states that Mr. and Mrs. Bush have showed her and her family such loving support. Fisher does not do this in an egotistical or prideful way. She is grateful and deeply touched and is again making people want to listen to such a sweet woman.
Fisher began to use herself as an example to everyone that even an upper-class, wealthy white women can be the victim of AIDS. She states “AIDS virus is not a political creature. It does not care whether you are democrat or Republican; it does not ask whether you are black or white, male or female, gay or straight, young or old” (Paragraph 3, line 2). She uses herself to prove to people who thought that they would never be a part of statistics- that they can never be HIV positive- that they were just as vulnerable as she was.
Fisher also begins to explain that AIDS does not discriminate. Just being human puts you at risk for the disease. Fisher...
Cited: "American Rhetoric: Mary Fisher -- 1992 Republican National Convention Address ("A Whisper of Aids")." American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States. 20 Feb. 2012.
Shaw, Dan. "Defined by words, Not by a Disease." New York Times 22 August 2012, New York edition E1. Print.
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