Rhetorical devices

Personal stories and anecdotes

Pence uses several personal stories, including his own, as anecdotes (stories with a message) to illustrate certain ideas and enhance his message.

To illustrate the courage of Vietnam veterans, Pence tells the story of First Lieutenant Brian Thacker, a Vietnam war veteran who bravely withstood a massive attack from the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War (ll. 92-114). As Pence mentions, Thacker was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions (l. 121), and he is almost always introduced during Veterans Day Observances (ll. 86-89).

Pence also tells the story of another veteran, gunnery sergeant Juan Macias who, despite being wounded himself, helped a nurse tend to the victims of a mass shooting (ll. 208-215). Through this story, Pence illustrates the bravery that veterans continue to show as civilians. Both stories are used as anecdotes to indirectly argue that veterans deserve the nation’s respect and gratitude, as well as the benefits they are offered by the state.

Towards the end of his speech, Mike Pence shares with the audience his personal relationship with the military: “I’m the son of a soldier, and I’m the proud father of a United States Marine, but my life never took me into the uniform of the United States.” (ll. 250-253). This implies that Pence has taught his son respect for the military, and that he supports his choice of a military career. Pence also tells an anecdote ...

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