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How Language Can Be Powerful?

Autor:   •  May 24, 2019  •  Essay  •  684 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,951 Views

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Write an exposition that argues how language can be powerful. In your response

make reference to the speech and its language features.

Language is a forceful, influential and powerful tool that affects others and ourselves. The power of language is shown through the deliverance of Deng Adut 2016 NSW Australia Day speech. In Deng’s speech, he addresses the importance of education and language as a powerful tool that not everyone has access too. This essay will explore the concept of “language is a powerful tool” with the support of various language techniques used in Deng’s speech to emphasis the importance of language through communication, social change and awareness.

Language through the use of communication is a powerful tool that people worldwide use to connect with one another. As seen in Deng’s speech, he uses accumulate listing of rhetorical questions, “I wonder what the Gadigal people in 1788 thought as they watched sailing ships coming up their harbour? How soon did that interest turn into mortal fear?” The effect of using rhetorical questions is to connect and to reach out to the audience to allow them to empathise with the possibility of losing their land to the Europeans.  Further, Deng highlights that “What do we take for granted as Australians?” allowing the audience to think about themselves as “Australians” living in a free world. He goes on to answer his question by listing out what Australians take for granted in terms of basic everyday living such as “free education, food, clothing, shelter, health care and personal safety.” Ultimately, the use of rhetorical questions captures the audience attention,because it gives us an opportunity to ponder about our current position and lifestyle. This technique is powerful because it allows the audience to connect on an emotional level through the use of effective communication.

Furthermore, language is a powerful tool in the sense that it can change society’s perspective. Deng's speech change's social behaviours and attitude towards native Australians and immigrants. In Deng’s speech, he uses allusion in, “‘Today as we mark the beginning of Refugee Week, it is important to remember that all non-indigenous Australians are immigrants to this land” Deng took a famous quote from Clover Moore, an Australian Politician,  that allows him to convince the audience to change their perspective about indigenous Australians. It allows us to remember that we are all immigrants but we are treated differently from others because of the education we have been given. Further, Deng highlights the theme of Australia day in “freedom from fear”. He acknowledges this to allow the audience to think about freedom. Further, this technique of alliteration allows the audience to remember it from its catchy choice of words, repeating the first constant in every word. He then continues to explain the phrase “freedom from fear” saying it is special to all of us and to appreciate the value of freedom. Therefore the power of language can result in social change.


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