Rhetorical devices

Anecdotes

America Ferrera begins her talk “My identity is a superpower – not an obstacle” with an anecdote meant to show the audience the beginnings of her career. She talks about her nine-year-old self, who watched the movie Gypsy on TV and dreamed about becoming an actress: “I would sing it with the urgency and the burning desire of a nine-year-old who did, in fact, have a dream. My dream was to be an actress” (ll. 4-5). Her personal anecdote also reflects her modest background: “I had been taught to believe that anyone could achieve anything, regardless of the color of their skin, the fact that my parents immigrated from Honduras, the fact that I had no money” (ll. 7-9). Furthermore, the personal story implies that Ferrera has worked hard to reach her position, despite her background.

Another personal anecdote is introduced when Ferrera talks about a disappointing audition, where she was rejected because she would not conform to the casting director’s stereotypical expectations of what a Latina should sound like: 

It took me most of the car ride home to realize that by ‘sound more Lati...

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