What would be some points to make in a speech on "The Demon Inside?"

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The topic of internal "demons" is a fascinating one.  One of the most important elements in any speech is the need to connect.  This topic does just that. Most anyone can understand the need to battle the internal forces within the individual.   A potential path of introduction might be to suggest that as long as there has been human consciousness and the ability to think, there has been the "demon inside."  The collision between what a person wants to do and what society tells them to do might be where this exists.  It might be interesting to take narratives as old as time to illuminate this point in an introduction to the speech.  Adam and Eve must have battled the demon inside when they broke the rules of the Garden of Eden.  Homer's brave Hector has to battle the demons of cowardice within his own heart.  In the Judaic tradition, it is interesting to contemplate, if only for an instant, the reaction that Isaac had to God's commandment of sacrificing his own son.  The demon inside has served as one of the most basic ideas that exists throughout the human predicament.  In a way, what it means to be human lies in large part in how individuals address "the demon inside."

The next phase of the speech could talk about how we see this in the modern setting.  With the proliferation of information technology and the blitzing of more information, greater forces are exerted on the individual.  This helps to foster a fierce understanding of what exists within the individual.  The internet is a collection of the "demon inside" individuals.  Seen in the outward displays of violence, sex, and objectification, there is much in way of "demons." For the modern setting, so much of information can contribute to the presence of fierce demons within.  At the same time, I think that a focus can be placed on how individuals struggle within such a condition.  The increase of self- harm that can be seen on the internet in terms of cutting, pictures posted, and tweets received and processed can show a great deal of struggle that takes place over the demon that lies within.  At the same time, the internet can also display how this demon takes a toll on other people.  The narratives of those who have been victimized in so many different forms speaks to the presence of the demon within individuals.  Art and cinema also depict the demon inside.  For example, David Lynch's focus in "Twin Peaks" was one where the presence of the demon Bob is the real killer of Laura Palmer.  The paintings of William Blake also seek to depict the presence of the demon within the individual that controls and seeks to dominate.  The internet is almost the staging ground for where individual hurt and the presence of demons can be seen.

A portion of the speech should be devoted to how the demon inside can be addressed.  This will be entirely open in terms of what you perceive.  I think that one part which can be included is the idea that religion seeks to resolve the demon inside.  Religious modes of expression seek to address the presence of the demon.  Another route that can be explored is how therapy plays a role in individual healing.  The individual who undergoes therapy does so to understand the presence of demons that cause pain within.  A speech that addresses the presence and alleviation of the demon inside can be quite effective because of its universality and applicability to all.

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