Attended another UIL writing competition today…(I am an official member of the Ready Writing team here at Taft High School now.) This competition was at Medina Valley High School. Ah, there’s so much to say about it…but basically, the topics this time were REALLY hard and I took the first hour (out of two) just analyzing them. I didn’t have a topic chosen by the first hour! Mostly everybody was done by then; one person was finished within the first half hour. Three went from my school (27 participants in total,) and all three of us were the only ones there after an hour and we took both hours. When I was finished I returned to the Cafeteria and told my English teacher that my essay was even worse than last time and I just did really bad. I didn’t think I had much of a chance. She reminded me that’s what I said last time when I got third place, but I assured her that I did a lot worse this time…Well we waited for 5 hours for results…The two others from my school got 7th and 10th place, but I got 1st! I was so shocked… On my scoring sheet, I got a perfect on every category. But I realized I forgot the comma in my title, (I can’t believe I did that! I realized it right after I turned it in…) so they scribbled out the perfect for punctuation and took off a point. Still 1st place though. 😀 Anyways, my essay is after the topic. Reading it now, I still think it needs a lot of work, and I should have done a lot of things, but I got 1st, so I’m satisfied.
Topic: “The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of the rhetoric than to any other force.”
-Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), Mein Kampf
Use force on a man and he may follow for a year, but feed his mind with your ideas and he will follow for life. Speech has been known to be one of mankind’s most valuable tools and treasures, but when sharpened, can be more powerful than any other force. Many memorable leaders throughout history have caused action from their mastership of rhetoric, bringing change to the world through persuasive speeches and convincing words. New leaders continue to arise even to this day, using their sharp tongues to control our minds and manipulate our thoughts. Control people’s minds and you control the world.
Logic and reason are often thought to be the most powerful weapons in war and in life. Malleability is both a strength and a weakness of the human brain allowing our minds to develop and grow. We are able to take the thoughts from others and make them our own to bring reason, purpose, and understanding to our lives. Our actions are directly related with these thoughts, causing our minds to become the valuable keys to our very beings. Persuasive speech is used to collect the key to the audience’s mind and use it to one’s advantage. When a person is fed with ideas that appeal to their reasoning they instantly become a prisoner to their supplier and unknowingly become dependent on that person, the supplier now their puppeteer able to direct their movements with the simple pull of a string. Conquering a world is effortless when there are no opponents to challenge you.
Throughout history the world has witnessed reigns of great leaders and of poor ones. Some leaders became a powerful influence and left a greatly exposed scar upon the Earth. Many of these leaders’ voices can still be heard today, their words travelling from mouth to mouth, their ideas still continuing to seep from mind to mind. History books deliver their speeches and students use their quotes to add value to an essay. Through charismatic talent these people appealed to the broad masses of a population and took advantage of their greatest weakness.
“I have a dream,” is one of the most well-recognized quotes in America. These words brought about one of the most powerful movements and helped bring an end to segregation, spoken from the lips of Martin Luther King Jr., a skillful speaker who shared his ideas rather than violence to change his country. Honored and respected today, he is thought to be a hero and a muse who displayed the tremendous power rhetoric can have over the world. Although this leader is said to have brought a virtuous presence about the world, some leaders are respected for their incredible use of speech to harm it. Adolf Hitler is another well-known and often respected leader, although viewed at through much different eyes. Hundreds listened to his speeches and unknowingly allowed his immoral ideas to poison their minds through the sounds of his voice. Hitler caused much action by causing people to agree with him and unshed the reason from his movement. He used his rhetoric talent to dominate his country, his people, and a great portion of the world. Many fear the simplicity of Hitler’s weapon and how easily people can be persuaded due to their appeal of rhetoric.
Speech is not often thought of to be a weapon but certainly can be used as one. Rhetoric is a skill that can be trained and sharpened to become a powerfully effective tool. Many have discovered this obscured secret and have used it to conquer the world. The appeal of rhetoric is stronger than any other force in the world because of the simple fact that the broad masses of a population are more amenable to it and freely surrender their minds to it. With all minds on one side, thinking and agreeing together, the world is in a tight grasp, with but a single conqueror.