Rhetorical Analysis of Faith Bandler's Speech on Reconciliation

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Words: 1009 |

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6 min read

Published: Nov 6, 2018

Words: 1009|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Nov 6, 2018

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Exordium: Establishing a Connection
  3. Elevating Unity Through Metaphorical Imagery
  4. Zoomorphism and Satirical Imagery
  5. Conclusion
  6. References


Faith Bandler's speech, "Faith, Hope and Reconciliation," is a meticulously crafted discourse that adeptly serves its intended purpose of rallying support for the reconciliation movement, particularly in advocating for the rights of indigenous Australians. In this comprehensive analysis, we will delve deeper into how the text effectively employs rhetorical elements and techniques to address pressing issues and connect with the audience, thereby fulfilling its central argument and overarching purpose.

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The Exordium: Establishing a Connection

Bandler's speech commences with an exordium that functions as an introductory section, effectively acknowledging the audience and acquainting them with the themes she intends to explore. Additionally, the exordium is imbued with elements of kairos, as it aligns with the occasion of her speech, the "Talkin up reconciliation convention" in Wollongong. Bandler's use of a personal anecdote, recalling a previous visit, establishes an immediate connection between herself and the indigenous land and people. This anecdote continues throughout the speech, revealing a "module in her thinking" that underscores the negative consequences of division, dislocation, and disjunction, while advocating for unity and reconciliation. Amplification is also integrated into the exordium, as Bandler expands on the divisions between indigenous and white Australia, referencing key elements of the reconciliation process, racism, and the stolen generation.

This fusion of exordium, anecdotes, and amplification appeals to ethos, enhancing Bandler's credibility as a speaker and forging a deeper connection between her and the audience. Furthermore, it elicits an emotional response (pathos) by addressing issues of segregation and discrimination, effectively initiating a response from the audience. Consequently, this amalgamation of themes serves Bandler's purpose by establishing a strong rapport with her audience.

Elevating Unity Through Metaphorical Imagery

Bandler employs metaphorical imagery to evoke emotions and convey the themes of unity and hardship. Phrases such as "Lived, breathed, struggled and climbed those ramparts of the rugged past" paint a vivid picture of a collective struggle, emphasizing the notion of unity. The pauses and accumulations of harsh physical journey connotations emphasize the hardship and challenges faced, invoking empathy and solidarity among the audience. The uphill journey towards reconciliation becomes a powerful symbol of the collective struggle to overcome prejudices and work towards a more unified and accepting society. Bandler employs these metaphors to motivate her audience to effect change and overcome divisions.

Through these emotionally charged metaphors, Bandler appeals to pathos and reinforces her purpose of inspiring her audience to actively participate in the reconciliation movement. This vivid imagery paints a stark picture of the challenges faced by indigenous Australians and the necessity of a collective effort to surmount them. The metaphorical language she employs is a powerful rhetorical device that resonates deeply with her audience, compelling them to engage with the issues at hand and commit to the cause of reconciliation.

Zoomorphism and Satirical Imagery

In her speech, Bandler uses zoomorphism, a rhetorical technique that attributes animal-like characteristics to humans or groups, to characterize her opposition. She employs terms such as "Talk-back jockeys," "blinkered," and "chained" to create a horse racing analogy and synesis, invoking an animalistic image of her opponents. The term "jockeys" evokes associations with horse racing, positioning her opponents at the starting line. "Blinkered" implies a narrow-minded focus akin to horses wearing blinders to stay on course during a race, while "chained" likens them to horses controlled by reins.

Bandler employs this zoomorphic imagery to not only label her opposition but also to question their moral values. She characterizes them as stubborn and resistant to change, illustrating the white Australia's opposition to reconciliation and improved indigenous rights. This usage of zoomorphism serves as a potent rhetorical technique that appeals to pathos by arousing emotions, generating sympathy for indigenous Australians, and compelling the audience to reevaluate their stance. Moreover, it fosters ethos, as Bandler's unstructured sentences and lack of formal education reveal her as a credible speaker who champions her cause, effectively addressing current societal issues.


In conclusion, Faith Bandler's speech, "Faith, Hope and Reconciliation," employs a range of rhetorical elements and techniques to effectively address pressing issues and connect with her audience. The exordium establishes a strong connection, while metaphorical imagery and zoomorphism evoke emotions and challenge the opposition. These techniques resonate with her audience, fulfilling her central argument and purpose, which is to inspire active participation in the reconciliation movement and advocate for improved indigenous rights.

Faith Bandler's speech serves as a testament to the power of rhetoric in conveying vital social messages and fostering change. Her ability to employ rhetorical devices such as metaphors and zoomorphism not only engages her audience on an emotional level but also challenges them to reflect on their own beliefs and biases. Through her skillful use of rhetoric, Bandler effectively communicates the urgency of the reconciliation movement and inspires her audience to join in the collective effort to overcome divisions and work towards a more unified and inclusive society.

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In today's world, where issues of social justice and equality remain prevalent, Bandler's speech continues to serve as a timeless example of how effective rhetoric can be a catalyst for change. It reminds us of the importance of acknowledging the past, addressing current inequalities, and working together to build a more just and inclusive future. Faith Bandler's legacy lives on through her words, which continue to inspire generations to strive for a more reconciled and harmonious world.


  1. Bandler, F. (1999). Faith, Hope and Reconciliation: Delivered at the 'Talkin up reconciliation convention' in Wollongong. Australian Human Rights Commission.
  2. Kirkwood, R. (2002). Reconciliation as rhetoric. Media International Australia, 102(1), 80-89.
  3. Conley, T. M., & O’Barr, W. M. (2019). Rhetoric in the European tradition. University of Chicago Press.
  4. Cloud, D. L. (2004). Control metaphors in public discourse. In A. Musolff & J. Zinken (Eds.), Metaphor and Discourse (pp. 145-164). Palgrave Macmillan.
  5. Gross, A. G. (1996). The rhetoric of science. Harvard University Press.
  6. Katz, S. N. (1992). The role of ethos in framing discourse about minority group members: Elite and mass communication about racial/ethnic group members in the United States. In R. P. Hawkins, J. M. Wiemann, & S. A. Pingree (Eds.), Advancing communication science: Merging mass and interpersonal processes (pp. 103-144). Sage Publications.
  7. Herrick, J. A. (2009). The history and theory of rhetoric: An introduction. Pearson.
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Rhetorical Analysis of Faith Bandler’s Speech on Reconciliation. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from
“Rhetorical Analysis of Faith Bandler’s Speech on Reconciliation.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018,
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