Jk Rowling's Speech Analysis

Decent Essays
J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard Commencement Speech J.K. Rowling, famous for writing the Harry Potter series, presented her commencement speech to Harvard on June of 2008. She had people from graduates to non-graduates gather before her. She gave an inspiring speech on the “importance of imagination” and “benefits of failure” (Rowling). She describes her main points effectively to the audience by using strategies such as ethos, logos, and pathos as well as tone. In Rowling’s speech, she uses ethos by sharing her life experiences to show that failure is inevitable. Rowling has first hand experienced a poor life and said, “I had failed on an epic scale…I was the biggest failure I knew” (Rowling). Standing before hundreds of people, Rowling…show more content…
She uses the humor to keep her audience entertained and to make her speech one to remember. She creates a bond to the audience reminding them that she has been in their place and remembers what it was like. She continues to use humor like “Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but ... A win-win situation!” (Rowling). This is because she can relate to the graduates nerves of going into the real world. She shows them that even she has felt the same feelings. Rowling, also, presents a more serious tone to the audience. For example, in her two main points of the “benefits of failure” and the “importance of imagination”, she tries to motivate those watching that failing is a part of life and she has failed many times. She tells us “Failure taught me things about myself… found out that I had friend whose value was truly above the price of rubies.” (Rowling). Using the same tone, she provides the audience with the “importance of imagination”. Since she is giving a speech to such an elite school, she believes they have not experienced failure but the fear is what scares them. The fear is of them failing when they are becoming a Harvard graduate. She thinks they have forgotten about how important imagination is by saying, “We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside
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