Here are the elements which will help you with your analysis of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk “We Should All Be Feminists”.
The rhetorical situation is that the speaker is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a famous Nigerian author. She delivers her speech on feminism to a local audience attending the TED conference and to the people who access her talk online.
The composition of the speech can be split into several parts, according to the different topics that Adichie addresses. Among others, she touches on issues such as gender roles, gender expectations, and the concept of feminism.
Adichie’s style of language is neutral, as it contains both informal and formal elements. She engages her audience with humor but also with words and expressions with negative meanings, which highlight her disappointment with society’s perspective on gender.
The rhetorical devices that Adichie uses include repetition, rhetorical questions, allusions, and antithesis. These help her express her view on gender roles and expectations and on society’s duty to shift them.
Adichie relies on all three modes of appeal to engage her audience. She mainly uses arguments based on pathos to show that she understands the experiences of women in Africa, but she also relies on ethos to establish her authority. Adichie also appeals to logos to point out logical inconsistencies in society’s perspective on gender.
You can read a full analysis of the talk on the following pages.