Rhetorical situation

Table of contents


The speaker of the “Dear Class of 2020” speech is Michelle Obama, a former first lady of the United States. Obama is known for her involvement in her husband’s presidential campaigns and her memorable speeches delivered at various conventions. Although she is no longer the First Lady, Michelle Obama remains a vocal advocate for women’s rights, LGBT rights, education, nutrition, and physical activity. 

Obama delivers her message through a commencement address, which is a speech given to graduates of high schools and universities. Generally, commencement speakers are notable figures, like politicians or other important people in the community. Throughout the speech, Obama draws on her personal experience to show graduates that she shares their fear, anger, and confusion regarding the current state of the world (ll. 14-17).

Obama addresses graduates “not as the former First Lady, but as a real-life person, a mother, a mentor, a citizen concerned about your future and the future o...

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