Analysis Of Lyndon B Johnson's Speech

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1960’s America was an electrifying era. The Vietnam War was claiming the lives of men who were forced to go under a draft system. The Cold War was reaching dangerous levels of tension as the US and Russia, both armed with nuclear weapons that could bring the world to its end were poised to use them, however there is one major advancement in US politics that changed how people are treated in this country. The Civil Rights movement, led by the venerable Martin Luther King Junior. Lyndon B. Johnson, the president during the time of the violence at the Selma March in 1965, made a speech entitled “We Shall Overcome”, which shares its title with a popular phrase spoken by those wishing liberation. His speech is extremely lengthy, to his detriment this allows more room for mistakes to be made such as logical fallacies. Johnson, to his credit, expertly uses emotional appeals and rhetorical devices to weave an eloquent piece of writing and speech. Various logical fallacies rear their head in…show more content…
Johnson expertly weaves literary devices into his speech. He uses the repetition of the word “We” to create a sense of fellowship among those that listen to his words. This literary device is well used in a speech such as this one. Another literary device he uses is imagery. The quote “ This great country can offer opportunity and education and hope to all -- all, black and white, northerner and southerner, sharecropper and city dweller” By juxtaposing these two groups Johnson frames the way that america has been divided for hundreds of years, in a mental image that can be easily digested by his listeners. This device beautifully fits into his masterpiece of a speech. In conclusion, Lyndon B. Johnson's speech “We Shall Overcome” uses many appeals and devices to weave a peerless speech that came at a pressing time in America. While some fallacies create cracks in the armor, they do not weaken it to a point of the speech coming off as a futile attempt to rally
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