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Persuasive Narrative in Rhetoric - Essay Example

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There are three main principles of narrative analysis. They are the principle of succession, principle of transformation, and the principle of mediation. The paper will use these principles in explaining the persuasive use of narrative rhetoric in Obama’s inaugural speech. Rhetoric is this case is the aspect of speaking effectively. The paper will also use narrative rationality to explain the persuasive effect of narrative in rhetoric. This paper will considerably focus on patho, logos, ethos, and their individual effect on persuasion in regards to narrative rational. Pathos, logos, and ethos are the three pillars of public speaking. They are the rhetoric styles of persuasion. I will use examples from the Obama inaugural speech to illustrate each of these points. The paper will then draw an informed conclusion on persuasive use of narrative in rhetoric. The Principle of succession is present in Obama’s inaugural speech. The Principle of succession relies on time and change to explain the meaning of the sequential arrangement of objects, elements, and incidents in a narrative (Scharf, 2003). Everything is in time. Stage for the speech was perfectly set in front of building constructed by black slaves. The speech is filled by words signifying sequential events, “I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors” (New York Times, 2009). These words seek to persuade the audience on his concern for the job at hand. The use of incidents like rising tides, still waters, clouds, and ranging storms is also sequential. They seek to persuade the audience that things and situations change with time and hence they should brace themselves for that change. Additionally, the use of incidents like the abandonment in the capital, when the enemy was advancing and the staining of the snow with blood, play a major role in persuading the audience that their history has not been good and hence the need to change it. This principle consequently leads to the principle of transformation. The principle of transformation relies on unities to define patterns that signify change in state of mind or state of affairs and hence defining the beginnings and endings. There is massive use of this principle in Obama’s inaugural speech. The phrase, “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America” (New York Times, 2009) signify change in the state of affairs. These words seek to persuade the audience that it is time to act towards good for America. Other words that signify change of state of mind are, “Our capacity remains undiminished, but our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions” (New York Times, 2009). These too persuade the audience that change is irresistible at this time. It marks the beginning of putting off unpleasant decisions and the end of protecting narrow interests. Moreover, from the energy in his words and the applause that he receives it is sure that Obama and the American people are ready for this change and hence the eminent success in narrative persuasion. This principle additionally leads to the principle of mediation. The principle of mediation relies on desire and ability to get a better understanding of the environment hence ...Show more


Persuasive Narrative in Rhetoric Narrativity is the relationship that exists between content and expression in a text or between a text and its inner meaning. Narratives help in organization and instilling sense in people’s lives. The definite meaning of any narrative can however not be understood by simply reading a narrative…
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Persuasive Narrative in Rhetoric
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