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An Analysis Of Mary Fisher's Speech, A Whisper Of Aids

768 words - 3 pages

On August 19, 1992 in Houston, Texas, Mary Fisher, the HIV-positive daughter of prominent Republican fundraiser Max Fisher, gives her keynote speech “A Whisper of Aids” to the Republican National Convention (1). Fisher’s purpose is “to lift the shroud of silence which has been draped over the issue of HIV/AIDS” epidemic (1). Fisher succeeds in her overall persuasiveness by effectively using ethos, logos, and pathos throughout her address to the conservative Republican Party to advocate for awareness, education, and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
During the time when the general public believes the only way to contract HIV/AIDS is to be homosexual, an addict, or prostitute, Fisher being a white, heterosexual, married mother of two from an upper-class family who contracted the virus from her husband is herself the certifying ethos of this speech (1). She tactfully uses her own circumstances and diagnosis to embody the plight of all in the AIDS community and shows that no one is exempt from this deadly disease. She emphatically states that HIV does not care about race, age, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation; all that it asks is “Are you human?” (2). She ceases to be the exception and gains the attention and respect of the American people when she aligns herself with others with HIV/AIDS with her statement:
Tonight, I represent an AIDS community whose members have been reluctantly drafted from every segment of American society. Though I am white and a mother, I am one with a black infant struggling with tubes in a Philadelphia hospital. Though I am 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 family’s rejection. (1)
Fisher firmly certifies her ethos and intent when she expresses that she is there as a messenger bearing a “challenge” for “awareness” and not as a victim seeking “self-congratulation” and “applause” (1).
Subsequently, Fisher carefully orchestrates her implementation of logos to incite fear and to bring the brutal truth of HIV/Aids to the forefront of America’s consciousness. No one can ignore the statistics that “over two hundred thousand Americans are dead or dying, or sixty or a hundred million more will be infected and that “worldwide forty million… or a hundred million infections will...

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