The Tragedy Of The Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre Essay

The Tragedy Of The Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre Essay

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Whenever tragedy strikes, people often look for someone with the eloquence and the empathy to reassure them and help them seek some form of comfort. This was especially evident when President Barack Obama was to speak on behalf of the victims and loved ones of said victims on the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre on December 14. Obama’s use of rhetoric in relations to sympathizing with those affected by the tragedy is used as he fervently relates to it on being himself a parent and expresses it as such through the speech. Some have related and compared this to Lincoln’s renown Gettysburg Address. Either way, Obama does achieve the purpose that was sought out by Lincoln regarding the attempt to mitigate the despair of the loss of life.
The most prevalent use of rhetoric that Mr.Obama uses is that of sympathy. “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would -- as a parent”. He uses an appeal to pathos as he relates to the situation as anyone who has children knowing that many of the victims were children. This serves as a way to bring himself to the level of understanding how emotionally impactful losing a child would be. Concerning the age of most the victims, Obama emphasizes the magnitude of this tragedy. “The majority of those who died today were children -- beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.” Since their is usually the impression of childhood innocence that people can relate to, as everyone was a child at one point, this line serves as a way for the speaker to show the audience the seri...


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...f wanting to protect children from harm, and when harm goes as far as to be massacred, it takes an emotional toll on the general populace, you would almost have to be a moral imbecile not to feel the same way. So by default, Obama is more effective, credit is of course due for being able to articulate an inoffensive speech that achieves its purpose.
Overall, Obama successfully addresses the Sandy Hook tragedy by relating to parents, as most the victims were children, and expressing his inclusive sorrow. Lincoln achieves his purpose in his speech by calling out the love for one’s country and showing modesty to those who gave their lives fighting in the name of said country. Both of these speeches do what they set out to, and given the magnitude of the Sandy Hook tragedy, Obama’s speech shows to carry more weight than Lincoln’s. Perhaps I have a bias I can’t shake off.

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