Master's Theses


Communication Studies

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This study was a documentary-critical analysis of selected speeches by Mme. Pandit. The speeches analyzed were: "Peace and Freedom Indivisible," given in 1946 before the United Nations General Assembly; "Adventure Awaits," given in 1950 at Vassar College Commencement; and The Whidden Lectures, a series of three delivered in 1957 at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The first chapter explained the significance of studying the speeches of such a successful Indian woman. The fourfold working hypothesis was: (1) Mme. Pandit presented ideas of significance to a world audience. (2) The speeches approximated the classical canons, but since perfection is seldom attained, there may be room for some slight improvements. (3) The speeches accomplished the desired results. (4) The speeches promoted good will between people and stirred people to strive to do what they could to build a better world. Criteria and available source materials were listed. Chapter two was an historical survey of India, her people, language, arts, sciences, and religions to give an understanding of the cultural background. Beginning with the Aryan invasion it traced various trends down to the present day. Non-violence is a traditional doctrine of several Indian religious groups. A biographical sketch of Mme. Pandit was given in Chapter three. This included a brief resume of the family migration from Kashmir to Allahabad where Mme. Pandit was born and began her career. It also gave an indication of the political setting and climate during Mme. Pandit’s formative years and early career. Chapter four analyzed the speeches and measured them by each of the classical rhetorical canons. Conclusions reached were that Mme. Pandit was aware of audience differences and that she not only made general adaptations to comply with audience expectations, but also adapted significant ideas to fit the audience and occasion. Her ideas were timely and significant to the immediate audience and to the world. Mme. Pandit used all three modes of proof but probably used more ethical than logical and more logical than emotional proof. Her devotion to such causes as peace and equal rights for all, and her enthusiasm contributed to her effectiveness. Most of Mme. Pandit's ideas were expressed clearly and arranged systematically. Her speech was embellished with numerous stylistic devices to add interest and variety. Word choice and sentence structure and variety were usually appropriate. Mme. Pandit seems to have had good delivery although it is uncertain whether she used gestures or not. Her voice was well modulated and used to good advantage. Although the speeches studied were not given extempore or from memory, the indications are that Mme. Pandit did have good memory when the occasion demanded it. The conclusion was that she was generally an effective speaker. The final chapter indicated that the fourfold hypothesis was generally supported. Mme. Pandit, a non-violent agitator, promoted good will and understanding between people and stirred them to strive to build a better world.


D. L. Miller

Date of Award

Summer 1969

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1969 Jean Roland


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