The Politics of Rhetoric: William Golding's Lord of the Flies and Leadership Speeches of World War II

byJoe Lovato

This unit applies the study of rhetoric to William Golding's Lord of the Flies, and then engages students in critical readings of political speeches of World War II, helping students understand the dynamics of eloquence and the efficacy of different appeals on a populace. By focusing on the use and consequence of rhetorical strategies employed by principal characters in the novel and helping students to see similarities between the use of ethos, pathos, and logos within the novel and three different speech acts, students will develop a deeper understanding of both, enabling them to draw parallels between the novel and the politics that inspired it. Ultimately, students will apply their knowledge of rhetoric and eloquence to craft and deliver an oration in the persona of one of the principal characters from the novel. This unit addresses the Common Core through close reading and analysis of non-fiction historical texts, while still maintaining the novel as the core text. It is cross-curricular and it addresses reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

(Recommended for English/Language Arts, History, Rhetoric, Grades 9-12)

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