On January 7th, 2018, Oprah Winfrey delivered her

On January 7th, 2018, Oprah Winfrey delivered her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment at the Golden Globes. She brought the entire audience to their feet and likely invoked the same emotions in the millions of people watching from their televisions at home. She was able to accomplish this by her use of rhetoric in the form of repetition, allusion, and her use of pathos.Throughout her speech, Winfrey used certain words or phrases multiple times in order to emphasize the points she is trying to make.  One recurring word she uses is the word truth. She uses this to inspire her audience to stand up for and fight for truth, when she states that “speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” Much of the Golden Globes was centered around the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, which reference women sharing their personal stories about sexual assault, and having the courage to do so, in order to help bring it to an end. She mentions Recy Taylor in her speech, who was a black woman who experienced sexual assault during the Jim Crow era, and she still spoke her truth in hopes of receiving justice. Winfrey references the Me Too movement throughout her speech and uses it to show how Recy Taylor’s truth is still carrying on today. She also repeats the phrase “their time is up” in reference to the Time’s Up movement throughout her speech, saying that the people who silence other peoples’ truths’ time is up. The silencing needs to stop. In particular, the white men who have been dominant for so long throughout history and who have instilled fear in the minds of so many women, preventing those women from speaking their truth. Repeating that their time is up reinforces how progress is being made regarding sexual assaults and racial injustices.Winfrey also uses various allusions throughout her speech. Rosa Parks and Jim Crow were both mentioned in her acceptance speech, which are allusions to various racial injustices in the past, and connects them to the injustices that are still happening today. She talks about Rosa Parks, a well-known figure from the civil rights movement, and her involvement with Recy Taylor’s case and her choice to stay seated on the bus in Montgomery. Those actions were part of Rosa Parks’ truth. Winfrey connects Parks’ courageous deeds to those of the women who have spoken out as part of the Me Too movement. The Jim Crow Laws enforced racial segregation, which was, and still is, one of the largest injustices in history, as well as the sexual assault culture that is still a large part of society today. Pathos is a very large part of Winfrey’s speech. The American Dream is something that is recognized by nearly everyone in the country and beyond, and Winfrey is a near perfect embodiment of that ideal. She begins by sharing a story about herself as a young girl and her humble beginnings; about her memories of watching the Oscars on the floor as her mother came home from a long day of work as a house cleaner. She is now extremely successful, exemplifying the American Dream that says anyone can become successful with hard work and dedication; a dream that nearly every American has. Throughout her speech, she uses words such as “we” and “each of us” to show that she is just like everyone else. It is a sort of rally for every single person to stand up for what is right in the world and participate in the global change that needs to happen. Oprah Winfrey was extremely successful in her use of rhetoric throughout her acceptance speech. Some audience members were brought to tears and everyone stood up in applause more than once, signaling her effectiveness. She tackled many current issues and brought the audience together, uniting herself and her listeners and inspiring everyone to make a positive impact in the world.


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