Rhetorical Analysis of Ellen's Speech

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“Common, and cement. Common cement. You commonly see cement on sidewalks. Sidewalks have cracks, and if you step on a crack, you break your mother’s back.” This is how Ellen DeGeneres breaks down the word “commencement” as she entertains a New Orleans university with a commencement speech that the students will always remember. The definition DeGeneres gave may be random; nonetheless it was true to Ellen’s quirky personality, as she amuses the 2009 graduating class of Tulane University with her comical presence. Ellen’s natural abilities to capture a room’s attention shines brightly as students, parents and faculty laugh along with every joke and feel their heart’s ting with each sad story. Through the ten minute long speech DeGeneres takes the “Katrina” class of 2009 through an entertaining journey to give the young adults hope by conveying a speech with an effective cocktail of rhetoric appeals. Ellen reaches out to the graduating class by using ethos. In establishing her credibility it makes it more reasonable to take the advice she would later offer. Ellen’s stature as a strong successful celebrity in society helped to gain respect and trust from her audience. She supports her appeal through telling them, “And I didn’t go to college here, and I don’t know if President Cowna knows, I didn’t go to any college at all. Any college. And I’m not saying you wasted your time, or money, but look at me, I’m a huge celebrity.” In today’s society, celebrities such as Ellen are known as credible people who have obviously have found ways to be successful. Also, being that Ellen shared one of here personal struggles of losing a close friend helps the students relate to Ellen. The students of Tulane University are known as the “Karina” class because the year they started college was the year that Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. As a result of this event, many of

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