Brandenburg Gate Speech

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On June 12, 1987, former President Ronald Reagan gave one of his famous speeches, “Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate.” On a superficial level, Reagan uses the speech to petition to the Soviet Union for peace, nuclear and chemical arms reduction, and the demolition of the Berlin Wall. He also highlights the progress and prosperity that have arisen in the western world since the division between communism and democracy was established. Beyond the surface, Reagan subtly disparages communism while simultaneously building up democracy. He emphasizes the importance of freedom, liberty, free trade, and other democratic ideals and the positive effects the western world has experienced because of them. Above all else, Reagan uses the speech to inspire…show more content…
In the second paragraph he says, “We come to Berlin, we American Presidents, because it’s our duty to speak in this place of freedom.” By assigning speaking in places of freedom to his duties and allocating the cause for prosperity of the western world to freedom, Reagan establishes his ethos as an advocate for “good.” He continues to gain the trust of his audience by displaying his personal concern for the well-being of those in Berlin, in Germany, and in the western world as well as his sympathy for those that reside in the totalitarian state. By revealing his intentions to promote prosperity, Reagan creates a common goal between him and his audience, demonstrating his sincerity and honesty and allowing the rest of the text to be easily…show more content…
He describes the physical wall in Berlin and the wall of restrictions that divides the rest of the country as a scar, insinuating that it is ugly, unnatural, and undesirable. In the third paragraph, he creates a connection between the people of the east and west by describing them as, “fellow countrymen,” and then by saying, “Es gibt nu rein Berlin. [There is only one Berlin.]” This connection poses an enthymeme that the people on both sides of the wall have common goals: freedom, security, and prosperity. Reagan then links these goals to the rest of the world by saying, “Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.” Until this point, Reagan’s audience appears to be limited to Germans. By unifying these groups, he compels the world to empathize with their German brethren. The pain and suffering felt by the German people becomes that of mankind, encouraging the rest of the world to understand wanting the wall to fall on a personal level. This is further exemplified in the next paragraph when Reagan declares, “As long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all
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