Analyzing the speech ‘What Educated Women Can Do’ by Indira Gandhi, published in the Selected Speeches and Writings of Indira Gandhi from September 1972 to March 1977 (WordPress.com 2011) stresses on the importance of women’s education and their neglect not only in India but around the whole world. In this speech, Gandhi provides many strong stances on women’s education. Gandhi discusses its culture and superstitions and how women in India have been oppressed of proper/formal education. She also highlights how educated women should carry themselves well by not forgetting their maternal obligation and domestic duties.
In her critique Gandhi emphasizes on the persuasive methods used by Gandhi specifically on Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.
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In using such terms, Gandhi portrays herself to be a modest person because she wants to put herself in the same situation as her citizens and she blames the citizens including herself. ‘Everything is somewhat of a mixture and it depends on ‘us’ and ‘our’ capability how we can extract the good, how ‘we’ can make use of what is around ‘us’. Also,‘I had to go out in a doli if I left my house. ‘We’ just did not walk’. In doing so, Gandhi speaks her mind without conviction. She is not afraid to be hated by her citizens in pointing fingers at them.
Another rhetoric style used is Pathos which is evident in Gandhi’s speech. She uses a persuading style and a good selection of words in order to grab the attention of her audience. Gandhi also adds vivid emotions into fully gasping the attention of her audience. Words such as ‘neglected’ and ‘reluctant’ show the depth of the situation in India. Overall, Gandhi’s speech was in a collective manner as the usage of words such as ‘us’ and ‘we’ both the audience and writer can relate to the speech.
Finally, Logos can be identified in Gandhi’s speech as it goes hand in hand with the Ethos to enhance the speaker’s capabilities in the eyes of the audience. Gandhi speaks about the deteriorating state of women’s education in India. She clearly states that women around the world have been oppressed of education since the era of our forefathers. She also explains to the public that they are