A Critique on a Critique of a Speech
Many people throughout history have read and reread and discussed, critiqued, dissected, and reinterpreted other people’s stories and speeches. They all try to find a new way to look at them and try to make everybody listen to their ideas of what they mean. They pick out every tiny little detail of the said speech until there’s not much more to admire and sometimes they often miss the entire meaning of the written work. It is found to be rather tedious and obnoxious to take somebody else’s work and turn it into something else completely. But at times, it can be found rather enlightening and amazing. One man, Alan Axelrod, took President Roosevelt’s first inaugural address, and attempted to interpret it in Nothing to Fear: Lessons in Leadership from FDR.
Alan Axelrod had a very distinct impression of what President Roosevelt was attempting to portray in his inaugural address; Alan believed that the President was specifically addressing fear. He used many examples to support his theories and he used historical references as well. As more evidence to how Alan believed the President felt towards fear, he used some of Roosevelt’s past experiences. Alan stated, “In 1921 polio threatened first to kill him [President Roosevelt] and then paralyzed him…He could then and there have given in to the fog of fear, but he chose not to.” According to Roosevelt’s personal history and the many trials he had to suffer through, he had many close encounters with fear and anguish. This is exactly what Alan states throughout his critique and this assumption seems to be well-based on the facts but in all actuality could be completely off.
Mr. Axelrod also came to the conclusion that ...
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...l speech for his personal taste but it lacked hard evidence that could be used to convince others to believe it was written with a certain underlying meaning as well. With all the talk of fear and how it’s just fog and of how it can be lifted and your whole outlook will changed seems very fictionalized and unrealistic, in a sense. If he had wanted to get people to understand his philosophy, then he would have to have more proof of his hypothesis’. Alan, like many other people, have searched through specific pieces and tried to find some happy, uplifting thought, or a dark, depressing undertone. Perhaps we should just leave the interpretation to our imaginations, and then we can agree that it is a wonderful work. I must admit, Alan did fairly well in the attempt to understand and solve the puzzle of the inaugural address, but honestly, he could’ve done a lot better.
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