Jfk Rhetorical Analysis Essay

The youthful energy found in John F. Kennedy’s speech is evident throughout. He had just won a long hard fought campaign, yet chose not to focus on the policies that helped him win specifically. The goals he has are illustrated in strong appeals to emotion, by making a connection with the everyday American citizen. He personalizes his speech in looking forward to the future while using the past as an example. John F. Kennedy begins his inaugural speech by using antithesis to emphasize the importance of his victory in the presidential race.

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Kennedy describes his victory as “symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning — signifying renewal, as well as change. ” He then appeals to the pathos of his audience by using several effective choices of diction. By describing the responsibilities passed on to the new generation of Americans, Kennedy invokes nationalistic feelings in the listening citizens. He points to the resiliency of the United States and the need for the people to continue to support the ideals of freedom that have made the country so successful.

The people were challenged to “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. ” Kennedy successfully appeals to the pathos of the audience in order to establish his views to be elaborated in the rest of his speech. In the next portion of his address, John F. Kennedy discusses his international views. He strategically uses anaphora to break his ideas into segments.

After saying that the United States under his presidency will pledge to achieve several different things, he explains what the pledges are in segments beginning with “to. ” It effectively separates his ideas and lets his audience know he is beginning to speak of a different pledge than the one before. Kennedy pledges that the United States will unify with other countries even if their viewpoints are much different than those of our great country. In Kennedy’s mind, we must retain our old allies because “divided, there is little we can do. He also pledges to help those countries that are less fortunate than the United States not for power or political reasons, but because it is morally right. He then finishes off his anaphoric pledges by promising relief to bordering countries, renewing the United States’ support of the United Nations, and by requesting peaceful relations with other countries in the world. Kennedy’s dedicated and confident tone throughout this portion of the address gives the audience a reassuring sense of belief in their new leader. The next section of John F.

Kennedy’s inaugural speech he uses anaphora to emphasize his points. However, rather than focusing on his international views regarding helping other countries in need, Kennedy focuses on the importance of preventing another violent war. He begins this portion of the speech by cleverly inserting a trope to explain what the United States’ policy should be about negotiation with other countries: “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate. ” He then proceeds to address the prevention of war by beginning all of his ideas and viewpoints with the phrase “let both sides. During this section, Kennedy uses logos effectively to explain why it is logical to avoid war. Kennedy urges “both sides” to help each other through problems rather than letting the problems divide the countries, to focus on the positive effects that science can have on society rather than its harmful effects, and to unite in order to create a world “where the strong are just, and the weak secure, and the peace preserved. ” These pleas for a peaceful world were exactly what the American people needed to hear at a time when war was the last thing anyone wanted for the United States.

The metaphorical diction creates some of Kennedy’s best appeals to the audience. He uses a metaphor here in a pledge to Southern nations, “to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. ” Not only does his goal of liberation become more evident with the use of this metaphor, but he also shows the injustices of the past will not be repeated freely with a metaphor. He refers to evil dictators of the past saying, “those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside,” clearly shows his intentions of becoming a just figure on the international level.

Formal diction evokes a sense of national pride especially in referring to past Americans as “forebears,” a sign of respect. During his opening line he wisely follows the addressing of many prestigious government figures by ending with fellow citizens. He puts the Americans on par with the other figures mentioned. Kennedy likes to use declarative sentences to emit the strength he has. He makes declarations “to those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free,” and, “to those peoples in huts and villages across the globe. The repetition of these declarative elements makes it seem that he will actually carry out his plan of action.


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