Rhetorical devices


The main rhetorical device used by Steve Jobs in his Commencement Address at Stanford University is the anecdote. Jobs uses several events from his past to offer the students valuable life lessons that he believes will help them become successful and have satisfying careers.

For example, the story about Jobs’ biological mother and how she wanted Jobs’ future adoptive parents to make sure he went to college, shows the dangers of following a path in life that others have decided for you. Another anecdote is when Jobs mentions what happened after his cancer diagnosis. This story illustrates how Jobs realizes how close he was to death and how this strengthened his mindset that people should live life on their own terms.


Usually, Jobs use...

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