Rudyard Kipling

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Analyze Rudyard Kipling's speech "Values in Life".

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Kipling's speech "Values in Life" is characterized by its formal, authoritative tone, personal address, and abundant use of metaphor. The speaker, while maintaining a friendly and self-deprecating demeanor, establishes himself as an authority figure, claiming that he speaks from experience. He uses metaphorical language to describe youth and the journey of life, warning against the soulless pursuit of wealth.

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The speech in Kipling's "Values in Life" is formal, authoritative, and rich with metaphor. It is also personal, as indicated by the direct address throughout. Indeed, in the opening lines, the speaker directly addresses the "most-learned fellow Doctors; and You, discreet and well-conducted Students of our University." The tone of the speech is friendly and humorous. The speaker is self-deprecating, acknowledging that he is one of those people that young people are instructed to listen to, a person "older and alleged to be wiser."

This personal, friendly tone allows the speaker to then set himself up as an authority figure. The audience is more likely to accept him as an authority figure because he has already formed a personal connection with them. The speaker states that, "I know of what I speak," and he suggests that he has been in the same situation as the students to whom he speaks. He reminds his audience, for example, that he is "one of your wandering scholars returned."

The speech is also rich with metaphorical language. The speaker refers to the life that the students are about to embark upon as "the great game of life." He also calls youth "the season of hope" and warns his audience that there "is a certain darkness into which the soul of the young man descends." This "darkness" metaphorically represents the soulless pursuit and acquisition of wealth for wealth's sake.

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