Rhetorical Analysis Of Pearl Harbor Address Essay

Rhetorical Analysis Of Pearl Harbor Address Essay

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Rhetorical Analysis of the “Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation” by FDR
The “Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation” by FDR, also known as the infamy speech, is as good a speech as any. He attempts to rally the legislative branch to say that the United States should go to war with Japan, since they had attacked the U.S. without warning and with no provocation at Pearl Harbor. His speech was astoundingly successful, winning over all of the senate and all but one in the house of representatives. He made several good points, backing them up with known facts, which he laid out in a way that made sense logically and sparked emotion out of the audience.
The occasion on which the president spoke was the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, an attack by the 1940s Japanese Empire. The attack came without warning and the U.S. was shocked and fearful of another bombing by either Japan or another hostile country, until their president, FDR stepped in and turned their fear into passion for a war. America, after two years of keeping back, drew into the war. The war ended 4 years later in 1945 when Berlin fell to the soviets, our allie, and Hitler surrendered/killed himself.
FDR’s exigence was that he knew America needed guidance after the attack, and also that war was necessary to strike back at Japan and other countries allied with them. The legislative branch met the day after, so the president would have a chance to speak and ask them to vote for war. Everyone was still on edge from the attack, so it wouldn’t be hard to get the senate and house to agree to go to war. “I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and t...


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...s meeting the day after) I think the vote would once again turn in favor of the war. One of the main functions in this speech was to make the audience angry. Since we had already been attacked, this would already be partially done, just not in the most efficient manner. When this speech was delivered, it simply directed the energy to a more efficient and organized form instead of angry chaos.
In conclusion, this speech was a very effective and efficient speech. In a relatively short amount of words, FDR uses lots of different strategies to persuade congress to declare war. He appeals to emotion with references to personal life and religion, logic by listing attacks by Japan and applying reason, and delivers material in an engaging way. He used the best words to display the ideas and purposes he has. This address was very successful, with all but one siding with him.

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