A Rhetorical Criticism of Tiger Woods Essay

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On April 21st, 2010, an American golfer whose achievements made him a legend found himself behind a podium, defending his actions in front of a crowd of family, friends, and a public whom he had shocked. In 2009, Tiger Woods experienced the biggest blow to his career in the form of a car crash and infidelity scandal. Not only was he married with two kids, but he was easily identifiable as a positive role model for children across the world. His actions challenged the core of American morals and raised feelings of contempt among the public. These next 14 minutes of speaking in defense would be Tiger’s only chance to set things straight, his only chance to rebuild his life. Over the course of his speech, Tiger utilized the four rhetorical …show more content…
The idea behind bolstering is for a speaker to identify himself with something viewed favorably by the audience (277). In Tiger’s case, he attempted to connect to his audience by connecting with them through religion, and charity. Tiger claimed he would live by the Buddhist morals he was raised under, as well as maintain involvement in his organization of learning enrichment. Although it is visible that Tiger was trying to reinforce the goodness of his morality to the audience, it seems that he fell short. When a speaker decides to use a bolstering strategy, they are limited by the reality the audience already perceives (278). How can Tiger speak of not following impulses and practicing restraints just months after cheating on his wife with 12 separate women? Tiger claimed that his immoral actions were a result of fame and money. This totally detracted from his bolstering technique, as not very many people can relate to a professional athlete who made more than $120 million dollars in 2010. While speaking in defense, Tiger relied very little on the differentiation strategy. Differentiation, as defined by Ware and Linkugel, is a strategy which “serves the purpose of separating some fact, sentiment, object, or relationship from a larger context, into two or more new constructions of reality to usher in a change in the audience’s meaning” (278). Instead of attempting to defend his

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