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A Whisper of Aids speech by Mary Fisher

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Briana Neurohr

on 21 November 2012

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Transcript of A Whisper of Aids speech by Mary Fisher

A Whisper of Aids by Mary Fisher Background
Mary Fisher was born on April 6, 1948 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Raised in Michigan; attended the University of Michigan.
After her first marriage she sought treatment for alcoholism in 1984.
Married Brian Campbell in 1987
Found out she was HIV positive in 1991 after filing for divorce in 1990
She became an author and a well known activist; found the non-profit organization 'Mary Fisher CARE fund'. Context
Republican National Convention
1992
Houston, Texas.
Purpose: break the silence of aids.
audience: the republican party, people who have tuned in, people with HIV/aids. Brief Preview
"In the context of an election year, I ask you, here in this great hall, or listening in the quiet of your home, to recognize that AIDS virus is not a political creature. It does not care whether you are Democrat or Republican; it does not ask whether you are black or white, male or female, gay or straight, young or old." Wrap Up
In Mary Fisher's, A whisper of Aids, speech she uses many techniques to convey her message to the world. Her main point throughout the speech is to inform people that everyone has the possibility of contracting aids but is still very afraid to discuss the issue. She wants to help her audience and people who have contracted HIV/aids to break the silence and discuss the situation openly in order to help one another. By using multiple techniques such as metaphors, anaphora, pathos, logos and antithesis, Mary Fisher achieves her purpose well in hopes that everyone will join in the movement of breaking the silence of aids. Techniques Examples Throughout the speech Mary Fisher displays many rhetorical techniques to engage the audience on the subject of AIDS, which she was personally addressing. In the speech Fisher appeals to Logos and Pathos repeatedly. The numbers she used stressed the major affect this disease was causing on all types of people. Fisher uses strong feelings in descriptive imagery of different stereotypes of AIDS victims to appeal to the emotional state of her audience, this was also a form of persuasion to caution the listeners on the ability the disease has to infect anyone. As Fisher follows using logos and pathos, she also exhibits anaphora. Mary adds anaphora to try to engage her listeners, and let them repeatedly understand that AIDS can affect anyone. Another example of rhetorical devices used is metaphors and antithesis. Metaphors in this speech uncover the affects of images on the subject of AIDS. As to antithesis, Fisher uses the device to explain how our nation needs to approach fighting the disease, and whether or not as a whole we choose to become open with this problem . One last example of rhetorical literary device used would be asking rhetorical questions. Mary Fisher asks her crowd rhetorical questions to question their humanity and morals as a human being. "It does not care whether you are Democrat or Republican; it does not ask whether you are black or white, male or female, gay or straight, young or old."(Anaphora)
In this line Fisher makes it clear that aids isn't prejudice and wants her audience to be aware that anyone can contract it.
"Though I am white and a mother, I am one with a black infant struggling with tubes in a Philadelphia hospital. Though I am female and contracted this disease in marriage and enjoy the warm support of my family, I am one with the lonely gay man sheltering a flickering candle from the cold wind of his family’s rejection."(Pathos)(Metaphor)
Fisher compares the rejection of a gay man to the cold wind and that's exactly how she feels knowing that she has aids. While making this comparison she appeals to the emotions of her audience
"We have killed each other with our ignorance, our prejudice, and our silence."(Pathos)(Anaphora)
Fisher explains how being silent about aids is only doing harm to one another. she repeatedly uses "our" to address the nation as a whole and how everyone is in on the silence about aids. "Two hundred thousand Americans are dead or dying. A million more are infected. Worldwide, forty million, sixty million, or a hundred million infections will be counted in the coming few years."(Logos)
Mary Fisher addresses the public with numbers of people affected by the epidemic to elaborate on the fact it could reach out to anyone and anywhere. Also, it allows the people to understand the disease is growing throughout the nation. "Are you human?"(Rhetorical Question)
Mary Fisher uses this device to engage her listeners and make them question their humanity and morals.
"We cannot love justice and ignore prejudice, love our children and fear to teach them."(Antithesis)
This quote contrasts the negatives and positives within people, and if they choose to address the issues at hand. More examples
Full transcript