Margaret Atwood and Anwar Sadat Speeches Essay

946 Words Jul 27th, 2010 4 Pages
What makes the selected speeches worthy of critical study?

Margaret Atwood’s Spotty-Handed Villainesses (1994) and Anwar Sadat’s Statement to the Knesset (1977) are both speeches worthy of critical study because of their fascinating ideas and values.

“There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead;
When she was good, she was very, very good,
And when she was bad, she was horrid!”
Atwood begins her speech with an anecdote and quotes this famous nursery rhyme to gain a personal connection with her audience and to introduce the subject of her speech – women in literature. Atwood established herself as a controversial writer, bringing her radical views such as feminism to the centre of
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Atwood’s speech raised some important issues in the era following a strong feminist push. She was able to find a balance between support for the Women’s Movement whilst criticising it for its excesses.
As a result of this mature stance, her speech was respected by many for addressing the important issue of women in society, and doing it in an entertaining manner. Atwood was influential during the feminist movement which began in the 60s and her influence is shown through her literary works. Her speech raises the issue of the role that women should take in society looking at it through the portrayal of women in literature. Atwood’s historical and literary references allow her to validate her points and to explore the role of women and how they are portrayed in literature (good and bad). The audience can easily identify with them – Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Lady Macbeth. Atwood supports her ideas with language techniques and features making her speech worthy of critical study.

Great speeches combine language techniques and features with structure to reveal and emphasis their key points. One of Sadat’s most memorable themes in his Statement to the Knesset is the value of “permanent peace based on justice”. The repetition of this phrase emphasises the point and makes sure the audience will remember it. Sadat uses enumeration to structure his arguments “the fist fact”, “the fifth
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