Rhetorical Analysis

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Date Submitted: 09/11/2012 08:39 PM

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Trevor Bulman

English 134

September 4, 2012

Dr. Graber

The Pursuit of Happyness Speech Analysis

Will Smith plays a powerful role in the film The Pursuit of Happyness. Himself and his young son are struggling and are basically living on the streets. Will Smith’s character is trying to sell medical machines, which he invested in, so that they have money to survive on. His speech to his son is ultimately the definition to the title of the movie. People will push you down and try to crush your dreams, but no one can tell you that you can’t do something if you really want it.

His tone when he is speaking is so emotional and you can tell that it is coming from his own experiences. It is a very dramatic piece, although his words aren’t exceptionally intelligent. He is speaking in a language he can comprehend, but he pauses several times as if he is deeply meaning every word that he speaks. It gets to the point; it is concise and doesn’t dance around the main point. Another device used in his speech is personification, “when you have a dream you have to protect it.” It is a strong statement that I is not just aimed towards his son, but to the audience watching as well. He uses a dream like it is something concrete that you can protect, but a dream is something that only comes from the dreamers mind. Something that is unique to every person. It is for anyone who has been put down by another person, most likely out of selfish pride, in order for you to stop pursuing your dreams, they must guard that dream they desire.

The situation that he unintentionally sets up for himself; is what makes this piece really effective. He begins by putting his own son down. He tears his dreams apart because from his own experiences; he believed what others told him and gave up on his own dream. Then he takes a complete one eighty and switches roles into the dramatic inspiring speech he gave. That is what gives him the credibility to make this speech meaningful. He had been there...