Rhetorical Analysis of
“A Whisper of Aids”
Texas A&M Corpus Christi
Rhetorical Analysis of, “A Whisper of Aids”
“A Whisper of Aids”, is a speech given by Mary Fisher. Mary Fisher is a republican white female, daughter of a multi-millionaire and mother of two sons. She was once employed at the Whitehouse for President Gerald R. Ford. She held a prominent position as the first female “advance man”. The defined position is “A man who travels ahead to arrange the details of scheduling, publicity, security, and other matters connected with a trip or public appearance, especially one to be made by a politician or dignitary”. ...view middle of the document...
In this speech she only states that she contracted it in marriage. Too many details would have created the fallacy of a strawman and would point the blame on her husband and away from the issue at hand which was the “AIDS” virus who was the real menace. Mary Fisher declares, “I am a white and a mother, I am one with a black infant struggling with tubes in a Philadelphia hospital. Though I am a female and contracted this disease in marriage and enjoy the warm support of my family, I am one with the lonely gay man sheltering a flickering candle from the cold wind of his rejection.” Her approach not only offered imagery of a victims but by using the words “I am” gave a humble reflection of her character. In this quote you can see how she eloquently confronts the stereotype issue. Since she did not resemble the stereotype and her goal is to erase stereotypes she subtly does so ironically by naming them. The stereotype of gay men and blacks build a bridge of understanding that she as an HIV victim holds no difference.
Ms. Fisher used the appeal of pathos with the creation of emotion. The emotion of fear and concern is created by being the face of the victim. The victim that the disease has chosen with no bias. The audience is furthermore given fear by verbal imagery and comparison. She states her father’s recollection of the dreadful Nazi death camps. Using it in her speech what her father heard from Pastor Nemoellar. “They came after the Jews, and I was not a Jew, so, I did not protest. They came after the trade unionists, and I was not a trade unionist, so, I did not protest. Then they came after the Roman Catholics, and I was not a Roman Catholic, so, I did not protest. Then they came after me, and there was no one left to protest.” This dictation gives comparison to the victims of Aids who are similar to those of the Nazi camp in the way that its victims could not possibly ignore, nor plea bargain, protest, or stereotype to avoid being killed. This image gives a feeling of fear and unsafety raising concern. With this comparison...