Analysis of Geraldine Ferraro's Democratic Vice-presidential Nomination Speech

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Words: 1236 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Apr 8, 2022

Words: 1236|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Apr 8, 2022

The best way to win over people is to go down the path of making them realize that you are going to work for their benefit and that you are going to bring out the problems a normal person faces and help them get over those hindrances. That is what Geraldine A. Ferraro did in her Democratic Vice-Presidential nomination speech. Geraldine was born on August 26, 1935. Before being elected as a Democrat of the US House of Representatives in 1984 she worked as an assistant district attorney. She was also the Secretary of the Democratic House Caucus. She was the first woman to chair her party’s 1984 platform committee and first female vice-presidential nominee, running with Walter Mondale. The purpose of this speech is to spread a message among the audience that things will change and that it will be a healthy change. The speech brings out the basic motive of Geraldine that she will not give up on the young and old people of the America. Her audience is the people who are at the convention and also the American public who have voted for her to be the vice-president. Being the first nominee for the vice-presidential elections this speech is a big deal and Geraldine delivers it perfectly hitting the perfect points for grasping the audience attention and favors. She claims how young and old people of America are a part of major strengths and that how she plans to solve on the problems. I’m going to examine how the author uses pathos, ethos, logos, anaphora, anadiplosis, metaphor and rhetorical question to convince the audience about her motives and thoughts.

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The first rhetorical device the speaker uses is ethos, pathos, and logos to bring out the appealing to the credibility, emotions, and logic of the people. She uses ethos when she uses her family as an ethical approach by addressing that her family was and Italian immigrant family, which means that she must have faced hardships, poverty, and other bad situations, that she fought and overcame. She also says “As I stand before the American people and think of the honor this great convention has bestowed upon me, I recall the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who made America stronger by making America more free” in which she uses ethos again to add credibility to her point that all she also wants is peace, which will help the nation to succeed.

Then she uses pathos when she says that “America is the land where dreams can come true for all of us.” Here she wants to bring out the emotions of the people in the way that they are obligated to their future and people believe in her that as they think of her as the right person who will give Americans the right opportunity to succeed and achieve their dreams to have a fulfilling future.

She uses logos to bring out the logical reason to support her speech. She uses statistics to show how she is a better candidate, she uses the idea of human rights, and that its spread should not be secluded on to America but everywhere in the world. She also brings out the point of fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and to establish fair pay standards among men and women. Using ethos, pathos, and logos has helped Geraldine to establish trust with her audience not only emotionally, but those emotions backed by logic and credibility which also makes her statements valid and reliable.

Secondly, I think she uses anaphora in her speech. The dictionary definition of anaphora is “repetition of a word or expression at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, sentences, or verses especially for rhetorical or poetic effect” (Merriam-Webster). She says in her speech “And we are going to prove the experts wrong again. We are going to win. We are going to win because Americans across this country believe in the same basic dream.” She uses we are going to win at the beginning of each successive phrases. Repetition of this phrase helps Geraldine to appeal to the emotions, to persuade the audience in her favor, to inspire, motivate, and encourage them. When she repeats the same phrase repeatedly, she creates an air of confidence around her in the audience. Using we everywhere creates the sense of unity between he and her audience. The audience now believes in her and that she will bring some healthy changes which will benefit everyone and not one specific person or group. Using anaphora helps her to really create a sense of understanding and trust that if elected, she will bring some big changes whose effect will be lasting for decades in a good way.

Thirdly, Geraldine uses anadiplosis which means “rhetoric repetition of the words or phrase at the end of one sentence, line, or clause at the beginning of the next” (Farlex). I see her using this tool when she says “I believe if you obey the law, you should be protected. But if you break the law, you must pay for your crime.” Repeating the word, you, adds emphasis to the main idea that yes, the law should be followed and that she would make sure that the law is followed when she is elected. She backs this statement by saying that she was also a lawyer. It supports her claim of following the law starts with the Americans itself. Using the same word over and over makes the public understand that change starts with them, and one of the most important starts from abiding by the laws, rules and that she is there to make those changes and support Americans at every step and stage.

The fourth rhetorical device that I think is used in the speech is metaphor which is implied comparison achieved through a figurative use of words. When Geraldine says “Sally Ride rocketed into space” she compares her situation with Sally Ride. She wants to say that as Sally Ride was the first American woman in space, Geraldine is the first woman who has been nominated for the vice-presidential position. She uses metaphor to show how special it is being the first woman to do something which is generic or usually what men do. This comparison and connection with Sally Ride make the people believe themselves in Geraldine and her ideologies which will affect them positively. Sally Ride made a great achievement when she became the first woman to be in space signifying that Geraldine will achieve wonders if she is elected as she would be the first vice-president of U.S.

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Therefore, in the end, I would say that Geraldine has used ethos, pathos, logos, anaphora, anadiplosis, and metaphor perfectly at the right time to convince her audience and give a hear-winning speech. Ethos, pathos, logos helped Geraldine to involve her audience emotionally backing that by logic and credibility. Anaphora and anadiplosis helped her to create an impact on the audience which was inspiring and supportive. Using metaphorical comparison helped her to gain confidence of the Americans to believe in her and her work. These rhetorical device usages have helped her to give a very deep meaning to her speech and make it more serious but exciting and inspiring.


  1. “Geraldine A. Ferraro.”, A&E Networks Television, 1 July 2019,
  2. “Anaphora.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster,
  3. “Anadiplosis.” The Free Dictionary, Farlex,
  4. The speech itself: Eidenmuller, Michael E. American Rhetoric: Geraldine Ferraro - 1984 Vice Presidential Nomination Acceptance Address, 
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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Analysis of Geraldine Ferraro’s Democratic Vice-Presidential Nomination Speech. (2022, April 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from
“Analysis of Geraldine Ferraro’s Democratic Vice-Presidential Nomination Speech.” GradesFixer, 08 Apr. 2022,
Analysis of Geraldine Ferraro’s Democratic Vice-Presidential Nomination Speech. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 12 Jun. 2024].
Analysis of Geraldine Ferraro’s Democratic Vice-Presidential Nomination Speech [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 08 [cited 2024 Jun 12]. Available from:
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