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Tryst with Destiny

This study guide will help you analyse the speech “Tryst with Destiny” by Jawaharlal Nehru. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on summary, analysis, topic, speaker, audience, language, modes of persuasion, circumstances, and intention.

Presentation of the speech

Title: “Tryst with Destiny”
Speaker: Jawaharlal Nehru
Where: Indian Parliament, on the eve of India’s independence
When: 15th of August, 1947

Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) was an Indian politician and one of the most important figures in India’s fight for independence from the British Empire. Nehru became the first Prime Minister of independent India in 1947. He held this function until his death, during which time he established India as a modern, democratic, socialist state. The speech is also known by the name “Freedom at Midnight”.

You can watch the first part of the speech here.

 

Excerpt

Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

Pathos

Throughout the speech, Jawaharlal Nehru appeals to people’s emotions, specifically to create feelings of empathy and patriotism. 

The speaker mentions those who are less fortunate several times, to make the audience empathise with them and build solidarity: “The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.”

At the same time, Nehru is mindful of possible resentment and pain caused by the fight for independence, which also helps show that he is caring: “Before the birth of freedom we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow.”; “Our next thoughts must be of the unknown volunteers and soldiers of freedom who, without praise or reward, have served India even unto death.”

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Tryst with Destiny

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