Bush and Blair 9-11 Speeches: Analysis of Rhetorical Devices

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President Bush and Prime Minister Blair delivered speeches shortly after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers in New York and the Pentagon in Virginia, which occurred on September 11, 2001. The Former President George W Bush utilized pathos, anaphora, and personification in his speech to convey an optimistic tone. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, addressing the same topic, utilized mild invective and parallel structure to express an affirmative tone.

Throughout the speech, the Former President George W Bush strives to empower Americans by instructing them to remain resolute, but to “go back to [their] lives and routines”. He uses the personal pronoun we and the common pronoun us repeatedly to indicate that the people of the United States, who either saw the event on television or experienced this event firsthand, were and still are involved in this national tragedy. He implements this emotional appeal into his speech to involve all Americans--people living in the United States of America, regardless of their ethnicity, race, or culture, and to acknowledge that the American people have endured this together, and that they will continue to advance after this event with stronger resolve, stronger than ever. In addition, he implements personification to motivate and empower the American people. “Our nation, this generation, will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future” (Bush, 2001). “This generation”, again a synonym for the American people, with its unwavering resolve, will fight for its freedom persistently. He intimates that the future of America and of democratic freedom is in the hands of the American people: that the American people have the power to control their fate. The next sentence leads into America’s “philanthropically” democratic nature: “We will rally the world to this cause, by our efforts and by our courage” (Bush, 2001). This statement has been followed up by action only a few years later, when the United States intervened in the Iraqi War, Libyan Revolution, and even more civil wars to ensure the freedom of citizens from dictatorships, which in Islāmic nations, were militant groups, like the Hamas and Taliban. Lastly, the president utilized anaphora, specifically a tripartite structure, by affirming that the American people “will not tire”, “will not falter”, and “will not fail”. He implies that the American people will relentlessly fight for the worldwide establishment of peace and democratic institutions, a promise which America has kept even in the face of its own national crisis.

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