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for his crime"! It will be readily understood that the speaker ought never to ignore the advantage of deduction whenever it is applicable.
A considerable number of points can be developed wholly or in greater part by the narrativedescriptive method. Sometimes narration is used exclusively; sometimes only description. But since the two are so frequently combined, it is better to consider them together. Unquestionably this method of elaborating a point or an entire topic is the easiest one because the subjectmatter is practically self-arranged. Moreover, each successive advance suggests the following step while one is speaking. A schoolboy can describe or narrate before he is able to undertake with any success the more difficult tasks of exposition or argumentation. Incidentally, it is a very good idea for beginners to serve their early speaking apprenticeship with topics which permit of the narrative-descriptive method of development. Travel, biography, and the great variety of subjects which lend themselves to historical treatment belong to this category.
Definition, understood in a broad sense, is an extremely important factor in elaboration. It
ranges from a mere synonym, or dictionary explanation, for a single word, to a detailed and varied exposition of a complex idea. It is sufficient to say that "definite" means "distinct, clear-cut;" or, using the logical form, that a triangle is a plane figure (genus) having three sides (differentia). But whenever in his address a speaker brings forward an unfamiliar or involved concept or expression, he must employ more elaborate means to make its meaning perfectly clear to the audience. We shall therefore present some of the most important methods of definition, considered as means of elaborating the points of a discussion.
a. By Repetition
The meaning of a statement which the audience does not seem to understand may often be made clear by repeating the idea in a different form, preferably in simpler terms. The repetition may also be employed in such a way as to afford the audience a new viewpoint. Again, new factors may be added in a series of repetitions, each succeeding repetition contributing something and embodying the gist of the preceding cumulation. For example:
The government of the City of X is feudal rather than democratic in its structure. That is, it is dominated by an overlord and his political hench
men. These feudal rulers of the City of X are mulcting the people as of old to fortify and garnish their own strongholds. Such an antiquated form of public robbery should long ago have met with determined suppression at the hands of enlightened citizenship.
Of course the ordinary form of repetition with a change of the wording or the viewpoint is usually more applicable, but in case the cumulative repetition can be used, it has the additional value of gathering force as it moves forward, much as the stream fed by tributaries.
b. By Comparison or Contrast
Comparison or contrast is another advantageous means of defining. This method aims to make the subject clear by showing its points of likeness or dissimilarity to something which is already familiar to the audience. Or, if the particular thing under consideration is likely to be confused in the minds of the listeners with some other concept, a careful comparison of the two is desirable, even though both be unfamiliar. Each will be illuminated by being displayed in the light of the other. Socialism and Anarchism, Republicans and Progressives, Syndicalism and Unionism, Conservatism and Radicalism, Science and Art are suggestive of the types which invite
and reward comparison or contrast. The following passage from an address on literature by Professor Brander Matthews illustrates the method:
"Art and Science have each of them their own field; they have each of them their own work to do; and they are not competitors but colleagues in the service of humanity, responding to different needs. Man cannot live by Science alone, since Science does not feed the soul; and it is Art which nourishes the heart of man. Science does what it can; and Art does what it must. Science takes no thought of the individual; and individuality is the essence of Art. Science seeks to be impersonal and it is ever struggling to cast out what it calls the personal equation. Art cherishes individuality and is what it is because of the differences which distinguish one man from another, and therefore the loftiest achievements of Art are the result of the personal equation raised to the highest power."
c. By Negation
Closely akin to the method just presented is definition by negation; that is, by clearing away false notions from the mind of the audience; by explaining what the subject is not. Sometimes negative statements are used exclusively until the speaker has the ground cleared for the reception of the positive definition. Burke, in his
Conciliation speech, affords a typical illustration of this particular form.
"The proposition is peace. Not peace through the medium of war; not peace to be hunted through the labyrinth of intricate and endless negotiations; not peace to arise out of universal discord fomented from principle in all parts of the empire; not peace to depend on the juridical determination of perplexing questions, or the precise marking the shadowy boundaries of a complex government. It is simple peace, sought in its natural course and in its ordinary haunts. It is peace sought in the principles of peace, and laid in principles purely pacific. I propose by removing the ground of difference, and by restoring the former unsuspecting confidence of the Colonies in the mother country, to give permanent satisfaction to your people; and, far from a scheme of ruling by discord, to reconcile them to each other in the same act and by the bond of the very same interest which reconciles them to the British government."
Again, negation and affirmation may be intermingled, as in the following passage from Matthew Arnold:
"But there is of culture another view, in which not solely the scientific passion, the sheer desire to see things as they are, natural and proper in an intelligent being, appears as the ground of it. There is a view in which all the love of our neigh