Comparative Commentary between my Speech and Story based on the Theme of Violence.

Authors Avatar

Alice Crimini/LH                18/12/2007

Comparative Commentary between my Speech and Story based on the Theme of                


The speech and literary pieces I have written use both similar and different techniques in order to create the particular effects intended on their target audiences. In terms of context, both pieces are aimed at an audience better suited as adults for their own distinct reasons and also due to the extensive range of lexis available; meaning that I could vary the diction included to produce effective and interesting pieces of work using as many techniques as possible. Their purposes very much reflect the intended readership in that, as the literary piece acts as entertainment (mocking and reflecting upon how we exaggerate our inhibitions by demonstrating a woman’s increasing sense of paranoia) it would be best interpreted by women who would acquire a certain understanding of the narrative. The speech’s purpose however, is to create awareness and generate action toward the prevention of child abuse, therefore an appropriate audience would be parents and those familiar with the value of parenthood. Whereas the story refers to its character in the third person (‘she’), or through the use of her name, Rachel (proper noun) to describe her feelings; the speech uses pronouns throughout to address the audience and promote a sense of a family or team about them. This encourages duty ‘as parents’ to act through the continuous and inclusive use of the word ‘we’; and persuasion is strengthened by the sense of power and influence that the audience acquire through verbs (‘we cannot allow’, ‘guarding tomorrow’s young people’), in contrast with the obvious frailty - yet importance - of the children involved through the use of nouns and adjectives (‘young and innocent’, ‘future generations’). The use of formality to create an effect is apparent in both pieces of writing, but is used in different manners, to create: a varied tone, and allow suspense to be built up in the story at different points in the narrative through alternating from a high to low register, and in the speech, an established voice for the speaker; allowing a sense of confidence to be conveyed by maintaining a consistent, high level of formality in a fluent, and steady-paced fashion.

There are many lexical choices involved that also play parts in helping both the speech to be persuasive and the story to be effective. Although for very different reasons, both use concrete and numerical language to establish a situation and support the ideas surrounding them. The story informs the reader that Rachel had been alone for ‘twenty minutes’; supporting the idea that she is already feeling nervous. The speech however uses hard and shocking statistical facts to shock the audience (‘one to two children are killed every week…whilst nearly a further million are abused and neglected every year’), and is followed by a powerful use of descriptive language to reinforce the scale of the problem: ‘their worlds remain dark and full of fear’, bringing a terrifying image to reflect upon the statistics. Whereas the speech is written in perfect tense, the story is written in past; allowing adverbs to be used to describe Rachel’s state of mind at that time. At the beginning, she ‘gently’ lifted the receiver as her eyes were ‘fiercely fixed’ onto the TV screen; the adverbs helping to demonstrate how captivated and influenced she was by the film. As Rachel begins to feel frustrated, she ‘hurriedly’ grabs her cigarettes - which for some hold connotations of relaxation and relief. Abstract nouns are evident in both pieces of writing and are purposely emotive: the word ‘fear’ crops up more than once in both pieces, ideas like ‘suffering’, ‘misguidance’ and ‘impossible’ are included in the speech, and mentalities like ‘paranoia’ and ‘fright’ in the story; all holding connotations relevant to the theme violence and struggle. In the speech, adjectives hold much more positive associations: the use of ‘our’ to establish a sense that what belongs to the audience is also being abused (emotive appeal) and also a sense of teamwork to persuade and encourage participation. Ideal concepts like ‘inspiration’, ‘guidance’, ‘caring homes’ and ‘strong assets’ are incorporated that obtain connotations relative to happiness and success; implying just that result if action is taken. In the story however, the adjectives are used to represent the pitiable circumstance that the character finds herself in: ‘in her cold and empty couch, she watched the…helpless and hysterical victim’. This example emphasises the fact that Rachel is alone, and also (in accompaniment with the rhythmic use of alliteration) creates emphasis on the idea of there being a ‘helpless and hysterical victim’; which Rachel reflects on herself throughout the narrative. Alliteration in the speech (‘full of fear’, ‘battered and bruised’), is used to greater the impact of any emotive language used; emphasising and reinforcing the idea that the children need help and support. In the story however, the technique is used to evoke different connotations and represent different factors at different points in the narrative; the humorous side being exposed in a more blatant fashion nearer the end (‘pure paranoia’). To signify the distress that increases throughout the narrative Rachel becomes cautious of her ‘darkened doorway, and ‘an ugly black burn’ appears on her carpet from her ‘calming’ cigarette; the smell of which ‘seeps into Rachel’s senses’. All of these examples holding eerie, intoxicating and mysterious connotations emphasised through alliteration, and building the overall atmosphere in the story.

Join now!

Figurative language to exercise the audience’s imagination and provide interest is clearly used in both pieces. Similes are a lot more common in the story; the first of which we come across is just one example of how the lexis is used with the intention of conveying the character’s nervousness. As Rachel has just lit a cigarette to calm herself, the image of the smoke seeming ‘like a haunting grey cloud hanging over her head’, defeats her attempt to feel relaxed and in control, and the word ‘haunting’ to describe it gives the impression that it’s frustrating her. In the ...

This is a preview of the whole essay