Rhetorical Analysis on “Come September”
Dr. Jay Whitaker
July 1, 2015
Indian writer and activist, Arundhati Roy was speech is about the consequences of war is created by the American government. Roy speech is written and given precisely to avoid offending her audience and to keep their attention. Roy goes into detail about different events around the world that the American government started and speaks on how the people of those countries that were invaded felt. Roy speaks about being American or Anti-American, for us or against us. She tries to get her audience to understand the American way of life isn’t the way of life for everybody and that they have their own opinions and ways of life.
In the Lensic Performing Arts Center on September 29, 2002, Arundhati Roy gave her speech “Come September”. As an Indian writer and activist, “Come September” speaks about the War on Terror, globalization, the misuses of nationalism, and the growing differences between the rich and the poor. Roy gets the audience attention when she begins her speech “Come September” by acknowledging that she is a writer and she is going to read her speech out loud for two reasons. The first reason is because she is a writer and she feels more comfortable when she writes and not withhold information. The second reason is because the complexity of the problem under consideration increases the responsibility of the one who deals with it. Once Roy has the audience attention, she tries to find the necessary words that will not offend the audience and to keep their attention. Roy makes the problem understandable for everyone. The reality of life is that those who are this or that way concerned with American problems are either “American” or “Anti-Americans.” Those who blindly follow the principles of the United State government are treated as Americans and those who criticize the actions of the government are considered Anti-American. Roy asks a lot of rhetorical questions that cannot be answered but questions that touch the reader’s and listener’s hearts. To be concerned American or Anti-American, Roy questioned, “But what does the term Anti-American mean?” Roy concludes that to call someone Anti-American does not simply mean that the person is racist, but they lack imagination, Roy implies that they “lack the ability to see the world in terms other than those the government has set out for you” (Roy 2). As ironic as it may sound, if you think about it all, Americans feel this way. It is the way that the news and every politician that run for office portrays it. If you are not for us you are against us. An example of this that is going on in the world right now is the Confederate Flag debate. A lot of people in the United States feel that it should not be flown and then you have the one who think that it should. If you are the one that is flying the Confederate Flag, you are an outcast. Another point that Roy makes is that every problem can be resolved without resorting to acts of war. The terrorist attacks of September 11 could be a waring to the American government that you cannot go around thinking that you can do whatever you want to other countries and get away with it. Lives were lost in the terrorist attacks and lives were lost in the War on Terror. Roy (2002) states, “The grief is still deep. The rage still sharp. The tears have not dried. And a strange, deadly war is raging around the world” (p. 2). She uses this sentence to make the point that regardless of what happens, war isn’t the solution to the problem. No matter what actions the American government takes will not bring back the lives of the loved ones lost in the attacks on September 11. The only thing that war is doing to the people of America is making them relive the moment that they suffered the lost of their loved ones after they have