Rhetoric is a subject that will have minimal appeal to any student. The questions “who needs to study this?”, “how will it affect my future?” and “what is the point of this subject?” are common in their minds upon hearing about the five canons or the rhetorical triangle. However, the minds of students are mundane and their futures are no more than a few days or weeks. There are many reasons why students should learn rhetoric as soon as they can.
One of the key features of a leader, or a statesman, is that they should be able to speak eloquently and their speeches should move people. That way, the leader can hold importance in the hearts of the public. Such example would be Winston Churchill. Churchill became the British Prime Minister during the Second World War. Shortly after he took power, the Allies witnessed the evacuations at Dunkirk. The German blitzkrieg (literally, a ‘lightning strike’) forced the Allies into a single port. Then, British civilians made perilous journeys across the English Channel to rescue the remaining Allied forces. Following this came a massive series of bombardments by the German Luftwaffe (‘air weapon’ or German Air Force). During the chaos, Churchill’s “We shall fight on the Beaches” speech ensured that British morale held firm against the terror of total annihilation. “We shall fight on the Beaches” was one of the most influential speeches in history. Why? Churchill’s incredible use of rhetoric, such as the repetition of the phrase “We shall fight” (which is called anaphora) struck a message in people’s hearts, showed that all hope was not yet lost. Without Churchill’s speeches, Europe would most likely be completely be fascist and communist: without Churchill’s speeches, Britain would have surrendered to Germany for sure.
Without the study of rhetoric, it is likely the student will not receive the education or job that they so dearly want. To become a better writer, one must learn to use language to full advantage and try to persuade colleges to admit you, or job managers to hire you. This skill in writing and communication is necessary for everyone, even if they do not aspire to be a writer. A lack of this effective use of language results in an inability to receive better jobs and education, preventing one from seeking the dream you so dearly want. However, the minds of most teenage students are not used to thinking about their future, and therefore have a negative perception about rhetoric and do not understand how to use it and how much it will affect their later lives. The minds of teens in 2019 are marred with social media, memes and pixelated relationships: anything that one can find in their cell phone if they just look down. They do not realize the benefits that rhetoric provides and how much they are missing if they refuse to pay attention during their English classes.