What rhetorical strategies does Anna Quindlen use to tailor her speech at Mount Holyoke College to a specific occasion and audience?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In this speech, Anna Quindlen makes use of all three classic rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, and logos to tailor her argument to young female students to embrace their unique core identity and resist trying to fit in with the norm.

First, Quindlen uses ethos by invoking her credibility as an authority on the subject of giving advice to young women. She states from the start:

I cannot help but see myself twenty-five years ago, at my own Barnard commencement.

This makes her a credible source as someone who has herself been in the graduating students' shoes and can relate to how they are feeling now. In addition, Quindlen is a very successful writer and professional, which lends her credibility as someone that young women can look up to as a role model. Finally, her credibility is strengthened by the many writers and philosophers she quotes during the speech, which shows she has done her research on this topic of self-expression and that many other smart people agree with her message.

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 967 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team