On July 27, 2004, Barack Obama made arguably his most important speech, “The Audacity of Hope”, at the Democratic National Convention Keynote Address. These conventions are for political parties to announce a winner for nomination. All the way through his piece, Obama focuses on connecting Americans and himself to the audience. In fact, at the time, Barack Obama was a US Senate candidate for the United States president, and in making this speech, was offered a window for raising his popularity. Throughout “The Audacity of Hope” speech, Barack Obama implements three main devices to raise his political popularity: repetition, abstract language, and structure.
Much of Obama’s speech applies repetition devices, principally anaphora and epistrophe, which imply emphasis on certain socially connecting words such as “our”, “us”, “we”, and so on. For instance, one way that he exploits these words is through constant repetition. As an illustration, consider this quote: “that we can tuck in our children at night [...]; that we can say what we think [...]; that we can have an idea and start our own business [...]; that we can participate in the political process [...]”. In this sentence separated by semicolons, Obama uses the anaphora of the phrase “that we can” to stress the statement that America is free, and that “we” are a united country. Obama also lets the American image of security, comfortability, and freedom bleed into this statement, where security allows us to “tuck our children at night”, comfortability permits us to “say what we think”, and freedom enables us to “participate in the political process”. Throughout these sentences, his argument increases in potential and p...
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...ings up his stand on issues, such as poverty, lack of rights, and others. This is also a time when he states who he supports, which included John Kerry and John Edwards. Wrote Obama, “John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope.” By introducing these political figures, he is persuading the audience to side with him, knowing that his part on his background would impress the audience. In the end, Obama used the advantage of this persuasion, which he has imprinted upon the audience, and urged them to take action and vote for these people.
Through repetition devices, conceptual writing, and careful organization, Obama created “The Audacity” of Hope speech for undecided and conflicting sides of the voting world. Instead of demoralizing, he uplifts. Instead of generalizing, he specifies. And above all, instead of reminiscing, he calls to the future.
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