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NAU ENG 105 - Kristina_Simonovic_Retorical_Analysis

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Kristina Simonovic2/3/14Rhetorical AnalysisENG105 Duckworth William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize Acceptance SpeechWilliam Faulkner is referred to as one of the greatest writers of all time and his Nobel Prize acceptance speech more than proves it. Not only is he accredited with his astounding work as a writer, but his humble attitude also attributes to his character and makes him a respectable human being. His speech optimistically argues that literature is important to people, and should therefore be written from the heart. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1950, at the time the Cold War was going on. The Cold War affected the people of America in that they were confused and needed something to confide in and Faulkner showed them that literature could do just that for them. Literature, in his perspective, is uplifting and can be used as a way to speak the mind, something that separates humans from other species. In his acceptance speech, William Faulkner, the author, is not only speaking to the audience at the ceremony and other aspiring writers, but he is also addressing humans as a race. His purpose is to accept his award in an unpretentious manner, while demonstrating his views on the importance of literature and the effects it has on humans. He does this by emphasizing rhetorical appeals including ethos, pathos, and logos.Faulkner starts his speech by saying:1I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work — a life’s work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before. (Faulkner) In saying this, he is directing the award towards what he feels should receive recognition: his work. This creates a sense of ethos by showing his sincerity as a novelist. His humbleness gives him credibility and shows that he wants nothing more than for people to understand him and his views on literature. It portrays that he is not of arrogant qualities; in fact quite oppositely, he is of good character. When he says, “…not for glory and least of all for profit…”(Faulkner), he is using ethos to appeal to his motifs in his writing. The purpose of this is to disclose to his audience that his work is not intended for money or fame, but rather to share his beliefs with the world. He views literature purely as a way of revealing thoughts and emotions through writing, and not with the goal of becoming glorious, but contrarily influential. And although his work is of high regard, he is soft-spoken, making him trustworthy and honorable. Midway through his speech, Faulkner states, “Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it” (Faulkner). He is talking about the Cold War and how it has affected the nation. This appeal can be considered logos. It is quite logical that Americans lived in fear during the Cold War. At that time, people feared for their lives. They didn’t know what was going on and felt that war with Russia was inevitable. Faulkner proceeds to say: 2He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart. (Faulkner) Faulkner states that humans learn from fear, as if he is speaking from experience. Hesays that people must overcome it and they mustn’t live in fear, for this is the only logical solution to the fear correlated with the Cold War. This is a comforting way to force people to look past the fear and to grow from it. In the final paragraph he says, I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. (Faulkner) This quote is an example of pathos. It represents a strong emotional appeal and displays motivation to the audience. He communicates to his audience that literaturesets people apart from other things, giving them a sense of value. This appeal reminds people who they are as a whole. Human’s all share certain characteristics, which make us human and give us unity. He holds a confident tone in expressing the importance of literature and its influence on all human beings. Despite what he mentions about many writers not being honest with their writing and not writing from the heart, “He writes not of the heart but of the glands” (Faulkner), he remains positive in saying that man will not only endure, but he will prevail. His powerful message and optimistic tone make apparent his emotional appeal to the audience.3William Faulkner was one of the most renowned authors as illustrated in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. This speech positively exemplifies literature in the perspective of humans. Faulkner holds an assured tone throughout the entire speech. His profound use of rhetoric appeals shows that he is an advanced writer. It makes his audience interested and trusting in what he is saying. Faulkner presents literature as something for people to confide in, in times of need. It gives people something to trust, when they are confused and have nothing else. Therefore, Faulkner feels that literature has an astounding influence on

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