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Analysis Robin Cooks idea of Britishness - Referat



The Foreign Secretary Robin Cook conveys his idea of Britishness, described before, to his audience. In order to convince his audience he makes use of so called sophisticated argumentative structure and several rhetorical devices. In the following I am going to analyze how the use of these influences the speakers speech.

First of all he starts the argumentation with his intention of the speech and underlines the significance of Britishness by saying “I want to celebrate Britishness“ (l.1). The Word “celebrate“, which is positively connoted, he gets the interest of the audience because just important events are celebrated.
Especially the frequent use of personal pronouns, such as “our“ (l. 2) creates a sense of community and togetherness. Consequently Britishness is a topic, which includes everyone of the community. Furthermore the enumeration and parallelism in line 2-3 „to the,… to the,… to the,…“ makes the sentence grow in impact. The audience realizes the significance of this topic, because the “safety“ (l.3) or the “health of our environment“ (l.3) are one of the most important values of a country.

Secondly he claims, his main thesis of the importance of international relationships referring to his job and his inter-personal experiences (“As Foreign Secretary I see every day the…“) (l. 1-5).
To illustrate this point he enumerates his main arguments and takes his main point of Britishness into consideration. In addition to that he uses several examples to support and proof his claim by speaking about the „past“ (l. 14).
Through the use of stylistics and examples he appears very trustworthy, since it is like a proof. Because of the reference to the history he creates a picture in the mind of the audience, since the colonialism is an important part of the British History, he refers to the audience with the false impression of a “pure British Race“ (l.14).
To underline his point he uses a contrast. On the one hand he talks about the past and their fans view of a pure British society, but on the other hand he shows that today many cultures belong to Britain which was also in the past, so a pure British society never existed.

After the evaluation he highlights the positive consequences of a multicultural society nowadays. He alludes to the huge “economic
success“ (l.22) and “an open and inclusive society“ (l.25)
Besides the contrast “burden“ and “asset“ (l.20) underlines the fact that pluralism is an enrichment for the British society. In addition to that he aims to correct the false belief of pluralism as a “burden“. This supports his view of a multicultural society.

At the end he explains the meaning of the headline “chicken Tikka Massala“ which belongs to the British culture, although it has Indian roots. Referring to the national identity and the everyday life he emphasizes the importance of multiculturalism to our society.
Moreover his use of language is rather formal, since there are no short forms or colloquial expression. Mostly he uses words with latin origin (e.g. celebrate (l.1)).
Due to the use of formal language he appears trustworthy and intelligent to the audience.
Supplementary he uses many positive connoted words which leads to a friendly and calm atmosphere.

To conclude one can say that the stylistic devices support his argumentative structure and his main claim of a multi cultured society. All in all because of his language he appears very trustworthy and tries to catch the interest of the audience.




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