Rhetorical Analysis Of Rivers Of Blood By Enoch Powell

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‘Rivers of Blood’ is a speech given by Enoch Powell in 1968, in response to Race Relations bill. His targeted audience was the citizens in the UK. Powell’s use of hyperbole and emotive language attempts to persuade the audience of the dangers of Race Relations Bill. Firstly, Powell creates a weak fragile image of the old woman in his anecdote by using emotive language. The fact that Powell states that the old woman has lost her husband and both her sons in a war; her house is her ‘only asset’ influences the audience to raise sympathy for her. Not only is she left with nothing apart from the seven-roomed house, she has only £2 pounds per week. This further highlights her helplessness and solitude. Through the use of semantic fields and passive verbs, the old woman is perceived as a frail victim. She is “abused”, “feared” and “would have been attacked” demonstrates her powerlessness in contrast to the violent image of the immigrants. Such attempt allows the audience to evoke an emotional appeal for her.…show more content…
The old woman is afraid to go out because she feels threatened, as she finds ‘excreta’ in her letterbox and broken windows in her house. Powell tries to include the scandalous behaviour in his speech to arise sympathy from the audience and to persuade them to support his view. However, Powell uses positive adjectives, such as “charming”, “wide-grinning” to describe the immigrated children, creating a friendly image. Yet, the word Powell uses to describe the children is “piccaninnies”, such condescending word is setting them apart, degrading the image of immigrants. In addition, the fact that the only English word the children know is “racialist”, Powell establishes a sense of irony because the children are portrayed as young, amicable, yet the only word and idea they know is

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