Founder of Apple, Steve Jobs
How it works
“Founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, in his infamous speech, “Stanford Commencement Speech,” discusses the hardships he faced throughout his life and how it led him to where he is today. Jobs’ purpose is to emphasize the importance of following your heart and your intuition. He adopts an encouraging tone in order to convince his powerful life message to his graduating audience. Throughout his speech, Jobs breaks his life into three stories, each having its own rhetorical device. He begins his speech by informing his audience about his early life and the struggles he faced, such as surprisingly dropping out of Reed College.
Jobs implies an uplifting tone by having “trust that it would all work out okay” (6), even though he never graduated nor had his own dorm room. Jobs uses this tone throughout his speech in order to support his idea that there is always hope. Even when it feels like your life is falling apart, “you have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever — because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart,” (10). He encourages his audience to stay optimistic and hopeful for the future.
How it works
Jobs moves to his second story by complicating that he got fired from the company he originally started — Apple. He utilizes aphorism by announcing that everything happens for a reason, and praises that “it was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it,” (17). He gives advice to his audience to never losing faith, to always keep looking for what you want, and to never settle. Steve Jobs admits that even the most successful people go through several struggles throughout their life by sharing his past conflicts with his audience.
Jobs closes his commencement speech by telling his third and last story that relates to his near-death experience. Being told by doctors he only had a few months left to live helped him learn the importance of “making the big choices in life,” (22). Miraculously, he was cured with surgery, before it was too late. Jobs includes repetition when he refers to The Whole Earth Catalog by Stewart Brand to “stay hungry. Stay foolish,” (28-29). He repeats these words in order to really get his point across to his graduates to never be satisfied with themselves. Never let go of your appetite, always continue to chase your dreams, go after new ideas, and take risks.
To wrap it up, Steve Jobs connects with his audience through the use of rhetorical devices, such as tone, aphorism, and repetition, by describing his challenging personal life. He ends with the message of never giving up, even if something seems completely impossible”