A Rhetorical Analysis Of Amy Poehler's Speech

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Rhetorical Analysis Paper Imagine the day of your college graduation ceremony, you’re overcome with emotion, and the knowledge you will be sitting through an either enriching or bland commencement speech. What would you hope to hear during that speech, and what would the context of delivery be? If I had to choose, I’d want to hear a speech that was motivational with a comedic touch, after all laughter is the best medicine. In Amy Poehler’s address to the prestigious 2011 Harvard graduates, she does just that. Commencement speeches are meant to persuade graduates by giving thoughtful advice, while making the audience feel inspired and like they can relate to the speaker’s struggles and accomplishments in the real world. Most people are familiar…show more content…
People want to believe what is being told to them, and compare that with their own experiences. Many of us may feel like we don’t relate to Amy Poehler, she is an A list celebrity, rolling in the dough, best friend’s with Tina Fey, how could she possibly relate to us normal people? Although she is hilarious, and seems to be a good person, her life is spent in the limelight and hanging out with her famous peers. Poehler, despite being who she is, does a great job making herself relatable to the audience, and giving them advice from lessons she had to learn through life. Poehler really expressed to the Harvard class of 2011, that you can’t do this life alone, and need to be open to working with others. More specifically she stated, “As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. No one is here today because they did it on their own. They have helped you get here, and that should make you feel less alone. And less scared. Because it has been a scary ten years. You were young children when you watched planes hit the World Trade Center. You quickly understood what it was like to feel out of control. But during those tough times, we realized how wonderful it felt to be part of a group.” (Poehler, 2011). Of course, Poehler added her comedic…show more content…
In fact, she used very little. Poehler mainly used her comedy and assumptions to poke fun at the Harvard grads. Poehler states, “What do I know about Harvard? I know it is the oldest American university. I know it provides the ultimate experience in higher learning and according to the movies, I know it is filled with people who get rich either by inventing things or suing the people who they claim stole their invention.” (Poehler, 2011). The only logical part of that statement is that Harvard is the oldest American university, the rest is assumption based off what she’s seen in movies. Even though it’s almost expected to hear jokes from a comedian such as Poehler, she should've took some more time to research Harvard University. She could have looked up some influential people who also graduated from Harvard, to give graduates a glimpse of what they are too capable of. Harvard is a prominent school in America, it’d be safe to assume most of us have heard of it. Therefore, Poehler could’ve used more facts, logic, and reasoning to incorporate logos into her

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