When asked what was the significance of winning the Nobel Peace Prize as an African woman, Wangari Maathai replied, “I think that the Nobel committee had a message to send to the world - that there is a strong link between sustainable, accountable, and equitable management of resources and governance” (Cahill 1). Her organization, The Green Belt Movement, focuses on environmental conservation in an effort to “plant seeds of peace” (Maathai 151). The article “Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech,” by Wangari Maathai, succeeds in persuading its audience to promote environmental conservation through its use of effective literary devices, pathetic arguments, statistics regarding The Green Belt Movement’s work, and a positive outlook on the future.
Word choice, tone, and the imagery used in her article all play a large role in convincing the audience that this is a cause worth supporting. The word choice in this article seems to have been selected very carefully and for specific reasons. When referring to the deforestation in Africa, she tends to use words such as “degradation”, “destroy”, and “devastate”. These words all present the idea that the act of deforestation is terrible and is only harming the environment. It doesn’t allow you to consider the idea that maybe the deforestation is necessary. Another important example of good word choice includes her use of positive terms when talking about the ability of the African people to make a difference. Some examples of these terms include “empowered”, “overcome”, and “take action”. These words all help the average person to feel as if they can truly make a difference in the fight against deforestation and take a step towards peace.