Another old speech from the pre-2009 syllabus for for Module B: Critical Study of Texts – Speeches.
There are actually a lot of notes already on Bored of Studies on this speech.
One of my least favourite speeches here. It’s pretty long, very academic (making it hard to teach) in parts and utilises a lot of long quotations, rather than Pearson’s own rhetoric.
However, it’s kind of interesting for me (not for highschool students I suspect) as I’m a Law/Arts student, because this isn’t the first time I’ve read encountered these issues (both legal and historical).
Anyway, here are some things to consider:
- This speech deals with issues about Indigenous Australians. How it is different to Faith Bandler’s speech?
- This speech is just 3 years after Keating’s speech. How does it relate to that speech and the Australian identity?
- Why does this speech include some many quotations?
- Noel Pearson is a law/history academic and Aboriginal activist.
- He is an Aboriginal.
- Chancellor’s Club Dinner at the University of Western Sydney – academic, intellectual audience
- Given the national debate about indigenous issues and Australia history – this was covered by national media.
- Both Australians and Aboriginals, politicians, historians etc.
- Delivered on 20 November 1996
- 1992, the landmark Mabo case resulted in the rejection of “terra nullius” and some recognition of Aboriginal land rights. Justice Deane, who was one of the judges on the Mabo case, is the same Sir William Deane that we also study in his speech about the 1999 canyoning tragedy.
- 1994, the Native Title Act 1993 was passed and began operation – first time that Australian legislation recognised Aboriginals as the original people of Australia.
- Thus, indigenous issues and the Australian past were very topical and controversial in 1996, when Pearson gave this speech.
- This speech was given as a response (few days after) to John Howard’s accusation that historians were creating a “black armband” view of Australian history and putting unnecessary guilt upon Australians.
Techniques by Page
This speech is much longer than the others – I’ll simply go page by page, instead of paragraph by paragraph. The page numbers are as they are on the PDF of English Prescriptions: Advanced Speeches on the BOS website.
I won’t do your analysis for you, but here is a general guideline:
- Identify where the listed techniques are in the speech.
- Explain their effect/purpose.
- Formal, humble language
- Authoritative introduction
- Inclusive pronoun
- Direct quotes and references (this is pretty much used throughout the entire speech)
- Academic vocabulary – historiography, discourse
- Legal terminology
- Emotive/emphatic language
- Reference to current event and judicial authority
- Emotive language
- Rhetorical questions
- Allusion to Darwinism
- 2nd person
- Rhetorical question
- Emphatic language
- Paradoxical rhetorical question
- Paraphrase of Shakespeare’s Macbeth
- Emotive quotation of William Cooper
- Inverted commas
- Parody of Keating
- Emotive alliteration
- Positive tone
- Listing of emotive labels
- Academic vocabulary – anti-intellectualism
- Turbulence – trouble, instability
- Indulging – wasting time in
- “Navel-gazing” – being too focused on a single issue
- Perpetual – endless
- Persevere – continue despite hardship
- “hot bottom” – causes great debate
- Resonance – effect
- Vehemently – passionately
- Alleviate – lessen
- Pessimistic – view that is looking always looking at the bad side of things
- Cultivated – grown
- “Politically-correct” – being overly polite and diplomatic
- Bigoted – refuses to tolerate any other view than their own
- Discourse – discussion
- Propagated – spread
- Depredations – robbery, crime
- Apportion – give out in portions
- Frank – honest
- Palatable – easy to eat or accept
- Forbears – ancestors
- Penance – punishment
- Solidarity – union
- Anachronistic – out of order
- Repudiate – reject
- Resilient – enduring
- Belittle – make little or insignificant
- Woeful – terrible
- Delirium – insanity
- Exorcise – get rid of
- Spectre – spirit, ghost
- Equivocal – unsure
- Exhortations – encouragements
- Afflicting – affecting in a bad way
- Obscurantist – hiding, avoiding
- Infidelities – unfaithfulness
- Injunction – order
- Apathy – lack of caring
- Tacitly – unspoken
- Confounds – confuses
- Derogation/dimunition – decrease
- Remnant – remaining
- Rupture – break
- Obscenities – something rude or unacceptable
- Predecessor – the one before
- Hectoring – bullying
- Rigorous – thorough
- Tabloid – cheap, biased
- Punters – gamblers
- Seminal – highly original and influential
- Touted – called
- Foray – fight