When did talking about world peace turn into a political marker rather than a reminder that the individuals’ actions are what holds responsibility for the things that happen in our world? These questions ring thought the ears of many Americans, especially during a time when the term “world peace” has become a naïve, almost overly-optimistic term. Jody Williams, Nobel Prize laureate, reaches her audience’s emotions through the use of strong distinct tone, personal perspective on peace, and a series of anecdotes. Williams carries a distinctly straight forward strong tone throughout her speech. She does not hold back any of her thoughts or “beat around the bush.” She begins her speech on peace by challenging the people to “reclaim what peace really means” (Williams). By “challenging” the audience, she grabs their attention and makes them think about the words coming out of her mouth. She holds this challenging-type tone throughout the entire speech as a way to keep the audience engaged in what she is saying.
She exploits the universal symbols of peace to contrast her own views. The analogy of peace being a dove and rainbow demonstrates a complete opposite view compared to her own view of sustainable peace being justice and equality. Peace to her means “freedom from want and freedom from fear” (Williams). Williams utilizes the persuasive appeal of pathos to appeal to the empowering emotions of the audience, because in some way or another everyone desire’s freedom from the fears and wants they experience in their lives. She states how she “understands humans are messed up-to use a nice word, because I promised my mom I’d stop using the F-bomb.” Not only does using her own perspective make her more relatable to the audience, but also her addition of how she “promised her mom,” adds a way for her to key into being relatable.
Williams being able to relate to her audience continues through her usage of personal anecdotes. Through anecdotes of other human rights activists she builds a framework of peace that includes creating international cooperation and action. She uses her anecdotes to provide proof of what can happen when individuals go out and do things to better the world. When she visited His Holiness, a Buddhist monk in Hiroshima, he stated “I do not believe that meditation and prayer will change this world. I think that what we need is action. ‘His Holiness, in his robes, is my new hero’” (Williams). This personal account is a prime example of the point Williams is trying to make, the point that the individual needs to do more than just pray and meditate for peace. They need to take action. Almost all of William’s personal stories that she uses are based on devoted, passionate women who go out and try to make a difference in our world. One of William’s acquaintances, Wangari Matthai, was an individual who took action. “Wangari Matthai-2004 Peace laureate. They call her the ‘Tree Lady,’ but she’s more than the Tree Lady. Working for peace is very creative. It’s hard work every day. When she was planting those trees, I don’t think most people understood that, at the same time, she was using the action of getting people together to plant those trees to talk about how to overcome the authoritarian government” (Williams). This story exemplifies what William’s portrays peace to be. Individual’s actions, big or small, all contribute to attaining world peace.
Yet another anecdote she uses appeals to the audience’s mournful emotions. A key illustration is her story of violence and death, proving the importance of taking action to reach world peace. Another acquaintance of Williams was a woman named Mairead, whom had a traumatic experience, but still promoted peace. “I’ll tell you the quick story. An IRA driver was shot, and his car plowed into people on the side of the street. There was a mother and three children. The children were killed