The Analysis of the Clare Boothe Luce's Speech to the Women's National Press



The speech at the Women’s National Press club that Clare Boothe Luce gave in 1960 “criticizes the tendency of the American press to sacrifice journalistic integrity in favor of the perceived public demand for sensational stories”. She starts off her speech by composing her audience of journalists for the uncomfortable statement that follows. Clare uses diction throughout the speech so she can relate to her audience and to give off an understanding tone.

From her writing, you can tell she uses diction a lot. To support it better, Luce words her words carefully to be more understanding. Her tone is shown through her words like “delicate,” “forgiving,” and “earnest.” within the text she says, “For the banquet speaker who criticizes the weakness pretensions, or exposes the follies and sins, of his listeners- even at their invitation does not generally evoke an enthusiastic- no less a friendly-response.” (Line 11-15). Luce uses words like “criticize,” “exposes,” “follies,” “sins,” and “evoke” to show how connection between the author and the audience is called ethos and it establishes trust in the speaker, to see her true intentions.

The author's tone throughout the essay is compassionate, she tells her audience that no-one knows the “pursuit of truth” better than them and no-one can “articulate” nearly as good as them either. Without fully complementing them, she acknowledges their talents as journalists. Recognizing the good they do as journalists, prepares them for the things they could improve on, including integrity. Luce is also very cautious, she tries to convince the audience to be open and forgiving of what she is about to say, which prepares their feelings for the criticism they will endure. “I hope” the speaker says, as she tries to differentiate herself from the person,that she could be seen as later in her argument.

With the American press, there are some good things while there are also wrong things. Journalists have difficult jobs, according to Luce,that they have to “explain a summit conference to the size of the moon". She knows that's not an easy task and the speaker makes sure that her audience understands that she knows that, so they do not feel as if she is judging them later on. Therefore, the audience is ready for her message because they know she is coming not as a critic but as a friend.