Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School


First Advisor

Michael R. Schliessmann


Just as the events of the Seneca Falls Convention changed the lives of women in America, Geraldine Ferraro's vice-presidential nomination has provided new opportunities for a new generation. It is the purpose of this study to examine the rhetoric of Ferraro and determine the motivation for the method of style used in her speeches. In rhetorical terms style refers to word choice and usage. The motivating factors and specific style developed by Ferraro were determined by answering the following questions: 1. What historical, economical, and social factors influenced Ferraro's career choices? 2. How are the recurring themes in Ferraro 's rhetoric related to major events in her life? 3. What, if any, parallels can be drawn between the rhetoric of Ferraro and the elements of moral drama? These questions will be expanded in later chapters. 1. To determine if other scholarly studies have been made of the rhetoric of Ferraro, a review of Master's Thesis Abstracts through 1984-85 and a computer search of doctoral dissertations and ERIC revealed that, at this time, no other studies have been made. 2. A total of five speeches were selected that were given between 1982 and 1985. Transcripts of these speeches were obtained from various sources. 3. It will be noted that the book, Ferraro, My Story served as a primary source for the study. When I contacted Ferraro's office to request that she complete a questionnaire for me, her personal aide, Barbara Leahy, told me that Ferraro had attempted to answer any questions that might be asked of her in the book. I found the book to be thorough and in it I was able to locate information considered to be pertinent to this study. 4. The next step in this process was the establishment of a critical tool with which to analyze the rhetoric of Geraldine Ferraro. The use of moral drama as a stylistic tool was developed and applied to Ferraro's discourse. 5. The completion of this study was achieved by examining Ferraro's life and career, determining the rhetorical style of morality plays, analyzing the rhetoric of Ferraro and establishing the presence of moral drama, and then drawing conclusions concerning the development of Ferraro's rhetorical style.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Ferraro, Geraldine -- Political and social views



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State