Analysis of JFK’s Inaugural Address in 1961 Throughout history, Presidents have used the Inaugural Address as an opportunity to help the mental framework of the American people and to the greater world. In order to effectively do so, those who craft the address must exhibit a mastery of rhetoric. More so than in other writing pieces, an Inaugural Address by nature appeals more to the rhetorical element of emotion. This is due to the fact that the address is intended to move its audience with powerful and socially lasting statements. The rhetorical element of emotion was especially vital to the address of former President John F. Kennedy.
Apart from infusing a sense of obligation in the crowd, Kennedy’s greatest element in his speech was the aptitude to arouse a feeling of esteem in the audience. Kennedy constantly uses phrases about freedom and sovereignty to remind the people they still are. “The heirs of that first revolution.” This dialect portrays America as a powerful and patriarch republic that possesses greater philanthropy of all the other nations around the world. Even though much of the address is fervent in tone, Kennedy devotes a large section of his topic to outline his ethos to all inhabitants of the world. JFK introduced the use of ethos at the inception of his address.
He attempts to win his audience over by the use of an ethical appeal in order to refer to his personal history and lend himself credibility. Obama connects to his audience and expresses to them that he is the one that is going to make proper changes to this great nation. As Obama climbs the ladder towards presidential success, he plans on taking the whole country with him. It is towards the closing of his speech that Obama eluded to Martin Luther king’s “I have a dream” speech as King’s dream was deeply rooted in the American dream just as Obama’s speech of “The American Promise” was deeply rooted in King’s dream. For it is this promise itself that constitutes Obama’s core idea of America and the fundamental key to
John F. Kennedy uses power, freedom and the faith in God as values throughout his Inaugural Address. John F Kennedy states, “We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.” The president gave his speech at a time when the American people were growing increasingly fearful of a long, drawn out Cold War. Yet, instead of reassuring his audience by minimizing the dangers, Kennedy warned them of a long struggle, emphasizing differences between the United States and its enemies, and showed the specific responsibilities and obligations of the United States and its citizens, ... ... middle of paper ... ... - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers.
These rhetorical techniques serve to accomplish the purpose of unity in JFK’s inaugural speech and set the inviting, but persuasive tone. Throughout the entirety of the essay, Mr. Kennedy uses appeals to ethos, logos, and pathos a lot. In the first paragraph of the speech, JFK first establishes ethos by saying he sore an oath that was written by the by the forebears of the country centuries ago. This proves his, and his pledge’s credibility by mentioning the founding of the inauguration. He later then adds a personal element to the appeals by mentioning the need for defending freedom from danger
Regardless he was assuring the public. He stated, “...that the torch has been passed to a new generation of American-”. That optimism cannot be matched. Even at the darkest of times could he stand up there, the president of the United States, and tell the young people of America that their time is now. Not only that but he attempts to inspire Americans when he says “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”, which was definitely a knock at the Russians.
Kennedy will always be seen as a man whose young, vibrant life and presidency was tragically cut short. He was the youthful, earnest visionary who might have changed the world. From the start, Kennedy's Inaugural Address was recognized as a well-written and successful speech. Kennedy's speech no doubt possessed the literary style and elegance of a great inaugural address. It rehearsed the communal values of the typical inaugural, and it aimed to unite the public in common cause.
Repeating a phrase before each clause is called anaphora. In one of his paragraphs, Obama repeats the word “to” to bring parallel structure. When he says “The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift” he is making himself seem powerful and influential (Barack Obama's Inaugural Address 1). He is explaining his desires for the country in a list that is easy to understand and is influential. Another area where he repeats his words is towards the end of the speech when he proclaims “This is the price and the promise of citizenship… This is the source of our confidence… This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed…” (Barack Obama's Inaugural Address 4).
Kennedy’s usage of “we” rather than “I” gives the audience a sense that they exist as part of something big, perhaps a family, while portraying Kennedy as a people’s president who desires to be a “person in the crowd.” Throughout his address, Kennedy establishes pathos mainly by appealing to American patriotism, a significant concept during the Cold War period in which Americans needed a jingoistic spirit to succeed. By reminding his audience of their forefathers and instigating parallels between “the first revolution” and the present generation, “born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage,” the president grasps the attention of the audience. He even stresses the value of liberty and this generation’s dedication to the survival of that value to rou... ... middle of paper ... ...very once in a while to maintain the formality of the speech and to convey imperative messages to his audience. Interchanging between the short sentences and the lengthy sentences grabs the audience’s full attention, permitting Kennedy to most persuade them that he qualifies for his position as U.S. President. Hence, through various rhetorical strategies, Kennedy achieves his purpose of gaining the spectators’ favor through stressing major current events that concerned the American people.
In John F. Kennedy’s speech he spoke on many different points and promised many different things. The first words that he spoke were saying how this was not a loss for any particular party, but a win for freedom. He told the people that we are a country shaped from wars, a country changed by peace that we had to fight for, a country that is proud of where we have come from. As country we will not let those who are struggling in poverty in the country and outside of the country be alone; we will try to help. John F. Kennedy states