Rhetorical Analaysis

Objective: The purpose of this assignment is to:
 Analyze the rhetorical situation (see the handout in iLearn: “The Rhetorical
Situation”) and how the speaker makes an appeal to one or more of the rhetorical
 Articulate and develop a critical and analytical perspective in writing
Directions: This essay assignment requires reflection and analysis based on observation
of one or more publicly delivered speeches utilising concepts covered in the unit.
This assignment should be in academic essay form. An academic essay should have a thesis
statement and an argument.
A rhetorical analysis is an essay that examines the parts of a speech and then explains how
the parts work together to create a certain effect—whether to persuade, entertain or inform.
A rhetorical analysis explores the speaker’s goals, the techniques used, examples of those
techniques, and the effectiveness of those techniques. In writing your analysis focus your
discussion on how the speaker makes the argument and whether or not the approach used is
successful. You should consider: the speaker and author(s), audience(s), rhetorical strategies,
immediate context, and the larger context and the issue, problem, or situation that caused or
prompted the speech.

In writing your analysis focus your discussion on how the speakers makes the argument and whether or not the approach used is successful.
The speaker
rhetorical strategies
immediate context and the larger context
the issue, problem, or situation that caused or prompted the speech

Evaluation criteria
Analysis (60%)
– thesis/claim 10-9
-evidence utilized 10-9
Understanding of appeals 20-18
Analysis of evidence/reasoning &explanation 20-18

Essay structure (30%)
-Essay structure 15-13.5
-Paragraph transition 5-4.5
-Internal paragraph 10-9

Mechanics (10%)
– spelling/grammar/syntax

Redfern Speech (Year for the World’s Indigenous People) – Delivered in Redfern Park by Prime Minister Paul Keating, 10 December 1992

Ladies and gentlemen
I am very pleased to be here today at the launch of Australia’s celebration of the 1993 International Year of the World’s Indigenous People. It will

be a year of great significance for Australia. It comes at a time when we have committed ourselves to succeeding in the test which so far we have

always failed.
Because, in truth, we cannot confidently say that we have succeeded as we would like to have succeeded if we have not managed to extend opportunity

and care, dignity and hope to the indigenous people of Australia – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people. This is a fundamental test of

our social goals and our national will: our ability to say to ourselves and the rest of the world that Australia is a first rate social democracy,

that we are what we should be – truly the land of the fair go and the better chance. There is no more basic test of how seriously we mean these

It is a test of our self-knowledge. Of how well we know the land we live in. How well we know our history.
How well we recognise the fact that, complex as our contemporary identity is, it cannot be separated from Aboriginal Australia. How well we know

what Aboriginal Australians know about Australia. Redfern is a good place to contemplate these things. Just a mile or two from the place where

the first European settlers landed, in too many ways it tells us that their failure to bring much more than devastation and demoralisation to

Aboriginal Australia continues to be our failure. More I think than most Australians recognise, the plight of Aboriginal Australians affects us

all. In Redfern it might be tempting to think that the reality Aboriginal Australians face is somehow contained here, and that the rest of us are

insulated from it. But of course, while all the dilemmas may exist here, they are far from contained. We know the same dilemmas and more are

faced all over Australia. That is perhaps the point of this Year of the World’s Indigenous People: to bring the dispossessed out of the shadows,

to recognise that they are part of us, and that we cannot give indigenous Australians up without giving up many of our own most deeply held values,

much of our own identity – and our own humanity. Nowhere in the world, I would venture, is the message more stark than it is in Australia. We

simply cannot sweep injustice aside. Even if our own conscience allowed us to, I am sure, that in due course, the world and the people of our region

would not. There should be no mistake about this – our success in resolving these issues will have a significant bearing on our standing in the

world. However intractable the problems seem, we cannot resign ourselves to failure – any more than we can hide behind the contemporary version of

Social Darwinism which says that to reach back for the poor and dispossessed is to risk being dragged down. That seems to me not only morally

indefensible, but bad history. We non-Aboriginal Australians should perhaps remind ourselves that Australia once reached out for us. Didn’t

Australia provide opportunity and care for the dispossessed Irish? The poor of Britain? The refugees from war and famine and persecution in the

countries of Europe and Asia? Isn’t it reasonable to say that if we can build a prosperous and remarkably harmonious multicultural society in

Australia, surely we can find just solutions to the problems which beset the first Australians – the people to whom the most injustice has been

done. And, as I say, the starting point might be to recognise that the problem starts with us non-Aboriginal Australians. It begins, I think,

with that act of recognition. Recognition that it was we who did the dispossessing. We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional

way of life. We brought the diseases. The alcohol. We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practised

discrimination and exclusion. It was our ignorance and our prejudice. And our failure to imagine these things being done to us. With some

noble exceptions, we failed to make the most basic human response and enter into their hearts and minds. We failed to ask – how would I feel if

this were done to me? As a consequence, we failed to see that what we were doing degraded all of us. If we needed a reminder of this, we

received it this year. The Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody showed with devastating clarity that the past lives on

in inequality, racism and injustice. In the prejudice and ignorance of non-Aboriginal Australians, and in the demoralisation and desperation, the

fractured identity, of so many Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. For all this, I do not believe that the Report should fill us with guilt.

Down the years, there has been no shortage of guilt, but it has not produced the responses we need. Guilt is not a very constructive emotion. I

think what we need to do is open our hearts a bit. All of us. Perhaps when we recognise what we have in common we will see the things which must

be done – the practical things. There is something of this in the creation of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. The Council’s mission

is to forge a new partnership built on justice and equity and an appreciation of the heritage of Australia’s indigenous people. In the abstract

those terms are meaningless. We have to give meaning to “justice” and “equity” – and, as I have said several times this year, we will only give

them meaning when we commit ourselves to achieving concrete results. If we improve the living conditions in one town, they will improve in

another. And another. If we raise the standard of health by twenty per cent one year, it will be raised more the next. If we open one door

others will follow. When we see improvement, when we see more dignity, more confidence, more happiness – we will know we are going to win. We

need these practical building blocks of change. The Mabo Judgement should be seen as one of these. By doing away with the bizarre conceit that

this continent had no owners prior to the settlement of Europeans, Mabo establishes a fundamental truth and lays the basis for justice. It will be

much easier to work from that basis than has ever been the case in the past. For that reason alone we should ignore the isolated outbreaks of

hysteria and hostility of the past few months. Mabo is an historic decision – we can make it an historic turning point, the basis of a new

relationship between indigenous and non-Aboriginal Australians. The message should be that there is nothing to fear or to lose in the recognition

of historical truth, or the extension of social justice, or the deepening of Australian social democracy to include indigenous Australians. There

is everything to gain. Even the unhappy past speaks for this. Where Aboriginal Australians have been included in the life of Australia they have

made remarkable contributions. Economic contributions, particularly in the pastoral and agricultural industry. They are there in the frontier

and exploration history of Australia. They are there in the wars. In sport to an extraordinary degree. In literature and art and music. In

all these things they have shaped our knowledge of this continent and of ourselves. They have shaped our identity. They are there in the

Australian legend. We should never forget – they have helped build this nation. And if we have a sense of justice, as well as common sense, we

will forge a new partnership. As I said, it might help us if we non-Aboriginal Australians imagined ourselves dispossessed of land we had lived

on for fifty thousand years – and then imagined ourselves told that it had never been ours. Imagine if ours was the oldest culture in the world

and we were told that it was worthless. Imagine if we had resisted this settlement, suffered and died in the defence of our land, and then were

told in history books that we had given up without a fight. Imagine if non-Aboriginal Australians had served their country in peace and war and

were then ignored in history books. Imagine if our feats on sporting fields had inspired admiration and patriotism and yet did nothing to diminish

prejudice. Imagine if our spiritual life was denied and ridiculed. Imagine if we had suffered the injustice and then were blamed for it. It

seems to me that if we can imagine the injustice we can imagine its opposite. And we can have justice. I say that for two reasons: I say it

because I believe that the great things about Australian social democracy reflect a fundamental belief in justice. And I say it because in so many

other areas we have proved our capacity over the years to go on extending the realms of participation, opportunity and care. Just as Australians

living in the relatively narrow and insular Australia of the 1960s imagined a culturally diverse, worldly and open Australia, and in a generation

turned the idea into reality, so we can turn the goals of reconciliation into reality. There are very good signs that the process has begun. The

creation of the Reconciliation Council is evidence itself. The establishment of the ATSIC – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission –

is also evidence. The Council is the product of imagination and good will. ATSIC emerges from the vision of indigenous self-determination and

self- management. The vision has already become the reality of almost 800 elected Aboriginal Regional Councillors and Commissioners determining

priorities and developing their own programs. All over Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are taking charge of their own

lives. And assistance with the problems which chronically beset them is at last being made available in ways developed by the communities

themselves. If these things offer hope, so does the fact that this generation of Australians is better informed about Aboriginal culture and

achievement, and about the injustice that has been done, than any generation before. We are beginning to more generally appreciate the depth and

the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. From their music and art and dance we are beginning to recognise how much richer

our national life and identity will be for the participation of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. We are beginning to learn what the

indigenous people have known for many thousands of years – how to live with our physical environment. Ever so gradually we are learning how to see

Australia through Aboriginal eyes, beginning to recognise the wisdom contained in their epic story. I think we are beginning to see how much we

owe the indigenous Australians and how much we have lost by living so apart. I said we non-indigenous Australians should try to imagine the

Aboriginal view. It can’t be too hard. Someone imagined this event today, and it is now a marvellous reality and a great reason for hope. There

is one thing today we cannot imagine. We cannot imagine that the descendants of people whose genius and resilience maintained a culture here

through fifty thousand years or more, through cataclysmic changes to the climate and environment, and who then survived two centuries of

disposession and abuse, will be denied their place in the modern Australian nation. We cannot imagine that. We cannot imagine that we will fail.

And with the spirit that is here today I am confident that we won’t. I am confident that we will succeed in this decade.