On Rhetorical Functions of Narratives in Hillary Clinton’s Speeches
International Journal of Language and Linguistics
Volume 6, Issue 4, July 2018, Pages: 134-139
Received: Jul. 30, 2018; Accepted: Aug. 28, 2018; Published: Sep. 27, 2018
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Yulian Chen, South China Business College, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, China
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Hillary Clinton is generally considered as a competent female politician and an excellent orator. She has impressed the world with her elegant words, storytelling styles and unique personal charm. Scholars have probed into her speeches from different angles and found that kinds of discourse strategies have been applied to enhance the appeal of her speeches, which to a great extent reflect her identities as a female and a politician. Taking Hillary Clinton’s speeches in different contexts for example, this paper makes a study on the features and rhetorical functions of narratives in her speeches. It attempts to point out the way narratives work to enhance the persuasive power of her speeches. Based mainly on theories about persuasive appeals of speech, identification between speaker and listeners, and rhetorical functions of narratives in speech discourses respectively proposed by Aristotle, Burke and Yang, the present research forms its own theoretical basis and seeks out how narratives work to provide factual evidences for her arguments, to stir the emotions of the audience through appealing to her authority and identifying with them emotionally, and to help organize the discourse. 14 speeches by Hillary have been collected to make data analysis and sample illustration. The research yields two major findings as follows: 1. Narratives are frequently applied by Hillary Clinton in each of the 14 speeches as an effective speech strategy and also a rhetorical device. She tends to narrate relevant events to promote the achievement of the speech purpose by highlighting the theme, supporting the viewpoints and stimulating emotions; 2. Comparatively, most of the narratives, altogether 96% of them, are employed to provide factual evidences for her viewpoints, emphasizing more on the post-narrative effect, and to stir the empathy of the listeners by presenting her ethos and identifying emotions. The current research is of practical significance for language learners and researchers to evaluate more effectively and investigate more deeply into language of female politicians.
Narratives, Rhetorical Functions, Hillary Clinton’s Speeches
To cite this article
Yulian Chen, On Rhetorical Functions of Narratives in Hillary Clinton’s Speeches, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 6, No. 4, 2018, pp. 134-139. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20180604.15
Copyright © 2018 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
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