Essay about The Triumph of the Will: A Fantasy Theme Examination of a Provoking Speech

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Diego Castro
Comm. 412 Evaluation of Public Communication
Final Paper
The Triumph of the Will:
A Fantasy Theme Examination of a Provoking Speech

In a time when hope is nothing but a word, love is nothing but a doubt and the future is anything but pleasant a leader will raise giving meaning to hope, creating romance to love and offering a future that can be unlimited. Adolf Hitler rose to fill the void the German nation had after the Treaty of Versailles. On September 8th, 1934 Adolf Hitler delivered a speech, to over 700,000 Germans, entitled ‘The Triumph of the Will.’ This speech was a part of the film, which shared the same name as the speech, “The Triumph of the Will” and in this speech Hitler spoke of religion, power and unity as the new German way life; the proper way of life (Shaughnessy, 2009). The Triumph of the Will presents many controversial issues, what the German people experienced was much more than a speech about religion, power and unity, they experienced what Susan Sontag (1975) considers "most successful, most purely propagandistic film ever made…” which culminated with Hitler’s closing speech. It is the rooted controversies of this speech that allow it to be presented as a great artifact to examine. In this paper, I will give an overview of exactly what this speech was, I will talk about what social and historical contexts made this speech significant, and finally I will introduce fantasy theme criticism and use it to examine the effects of Adolf Hitler speech to the German people in order to find an overall communication lesson about the use of rhetorical vision to create action.
Justification of Artifact
The speech was given after the Night of the Long Knives, which took place in Germany between June 30 and July 2, 1934 and after Dachau concentration camp; the first extermination camp built in Germany in 1933. The Night of the Long Knives was a purge of all political parties that opposed the ideas of the Nazi Party. There were approximately 85 strategic assassinations but the tolls may be up to the hundreds (Anonymous, 1996). The speech was a reform of current concerns amongst the SS and SA inner struggle with power (Anonymous, 1996). Hitler was attempting to refocus the Nazi Party to its original goal.
Triumph of the Will speech was given by Adolf Hitler September 8th, 1934 in Nuremburg, Germany. The speech was delivered to 700,000 Nazi supporters (Domarus, 1939). The Triumph of the Will was the closing speech for the film Triumph of the Will (Campbell, 2010). The speech itself was used as a method to target people’s emotions (pathos) and build up credibility (ethos) in order to convey, to the German people, the dire need to reform. Hitler tells the German people that they have subordinated themselves into to the Nazi Party because its leaders are Germans. He promises that the new state that the Nazis have created will endure for thousands of years. Hitler says that the youth will carry on after the old have weakened (Shaughnessy, 2009). His speech brought attention to the rally and created a huge turnout in the following years.
The message within the speech was only one half its dynamic appeals. He delivered the speech with such dynamism, as if it were a sermon that engaged the people. In Triumph, pride is one of the major focuses (Domarus, 1939). Hitler advocates to the people that they should not be satisfied with their current state and they should not be satisfied with the descent from power and greatness Germany has endured since World War I (Shaughnessy, 2009). The German people should believe in themselves and the movement that is occurring in Germany. Hitler promotes pride in Germany through the unification of it. Unifying Germany would force the elimination of what does not amount to the standards of the Nazi regime. Hitler preaches to the people in his speeches that they should believe in their country and themselves (Domarus, 1939). The German people are better than what they have become