Rhetorical Analysis Of Fdr's Inaugural Address

Superior Essays
In March of 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his first inaugural address to a nation that was in the midst of the Great Depression and declared a war on poverty. He specifically greets former President Hoover and Chief Justice Charles Evan Hughes, yet he is mainly addresses the general public with a determination to overcome the economic issues that the Great Depression brought to the people. Although, he mentions the state of the economy throughout his address, FDR hopes to revive “the American spirit” sought by his predecessors so that every American citizen would be able to have a brighter future. He reinforces the importance of “the American spirit” through various rhetorical devices.
Throughout his whole speech, Roosevelt aims to unify
…show more content…
These are crucial attributes in being a great leader, especially when promising he will perform his role as president “unhesitatingly” in times of crisis. The President encourages the public to trust his judgement with the use of anadiplosis and parallel structures. In the beginning of his speech, FDR states that his nation will not “shrink” away from its current conditions. President Roosevelt then declares his theory that the one “thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The typical use of anadiplosis is to emphasize a point; in Roosevelt’s case, he emphasizes the point that America needs to remember to be brave while facing adversity. However, the phrase itself has a deeper meaning; fear is usually associated with chaos or mass confusion and doubt which in any situation makes the solution harder to get to. So, by saying that the “only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” Roosevelt implies that fear makes a situation worse and that fear is the last thing the impoverished nation needs. The historic words spoken by FDR were meant to restore faith in the economy and to inspire his audience to help rebuild a stronger nation, the same type of motivation that “the American spirit” was based on. Also in this section, the President uses parallel structures with infinitive phrases to emphasize his main point. Roosevelt uses the infinitive “will” to set a course of action for the country, that America “will endure… will revive and will prosper.” The President knows that the repetition of keywords and phrases helps embed them into his audience 's memory, and with the addition of the rhythm created by the clauses makes the phrase similar to a motto for the generation. FDR’s intends for these verbs to encourage self-confidence in the majority of Americans struggling in the Great Depression. The use of parallel structures helps FDR to bring his belief in the nation to light

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    He describes the current stasis of the war under the impression of the “realist”, supporting his credibility as the Unites States Commander-in-Chief. FDR conveys the urgency of preparing for war through ethical good character. He mentions “They (enemy dictators) did not wait for Norway or Belgium or the Netherlands to commit an act of war” (Roosevelt). This statement portrays FDR as a president who is informed and knowledgeable of the world situation; he is exemplifying good sense. He continues this theme of knowledgeability lather in the speech.…

    • 1624 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He uses tropes and schemes to convey his purpose in a manner that effectively made Americans respect him. Throughout the speech, Kennedy appeals to a vast amount of rhetorical strategies to effectively persuade his audience of how his idea of unity will help the country overcome the problems it currently faces. Perhaps one of the most memorable and iconic rhetorical devices Kennedy used was antimetabole. “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” He uses this strategy to create not only an unforgettable quote for history, but to encapsulate his goal in a flowing and stylish sentence. He negates and repeats a clause in reverse order…

    • 948 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    New President of the United States John F. Kennedy just after beating the Republican who is named as Richard Nixon by nearly a land slide of an election, in his spectacular speech emphasizes peace for the Americans and all nations. He establishes a unifying tone, which attracts the world audience. Mr. Kennedy uses various strategies to persuade his audience to trust in him as the new leader of the United States. Kennedy knows what he must prove to show that he can be the greatest president in history, or be recognized for something great, and to lead as a great role model to this country. He must go out there and be prepared to solidify a tone and set the bar as to what type of president he will be or certainly will become in this country as…

    • 1046 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Kennedy’s inaugural address is revered as a rhetorical masterpiece that will always resonate in the hearts of Americans. This speech helped the people of that time endure hardships, while remaining a timeless piece that still carries significant validity. Within the speech, Kennedy appeals to credibility through his unselfish motives that suggest he will help make not only America but also the world a better place. Additionally, he appeals to logic as he provides a popular belief that everyone has duties to not only America but also to all of humanity. Finally, there is a level of emotion behind this address that evokes a sense of national pride for America while emphasizing compassion for one another.…

    • 1055 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Once Roosevelt earned his trust with all of America, he showed the country that when times are tough, he could still be positive. Roosevelt showed the United States his calming but powerful quote which created a great wave of optimism when he proclaimed, “ The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” (The Great Depression). His quote was trying to explain the citizens of The United States that the only thing that they should be afraid of, is their own fear. First, President Franklin Roosevelt helped change America by creating a program called the Works Progress Administration…

    • 480 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Kennedy’s speech to the American people following presidential election he uses the rhetorical device, chiasmus, to persuade the American people to move forwards into a new era with not only national, but also global progress in mind. The reversal of words, throughout several phrases of Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, add to the strength of his message by stirring national sentiments within the citizens. “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate”. Leading up to and during his presidency the American people were prideful, but at the same time lived in fear of opposing groups who threatened…

    • 936 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Franklin Delano roosevelt was inaugurated as the President of the united states on March 4th, 1933. Smack dab in the center of the great depression, following a president who had supposedly “Dug” the country deeper into problems than they already were. The great depression is described as “One of the darkest times in America’s history”. Yet Roosevelt used it to reinvent the way this country was to be fashioned . FDR took it as his own personal responsibility to help the American people feel relieved during this stressing period.…

    • 710 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Through his powerful combination of rhetorical elements, Richard Nixon is able to make his point about the Vietnam War, and uses logic and reasoning, along with other factors, to show the Americans his dedication to the war, because he truly believes that it is America’s duty to prevent communism and protect allies not only for diplomacy, but to establish itself as a world power. He therefore stresses, with respect, that the “silent majority” must rise, so that America can continue to carry on and to continue with its…

    • 1291 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Lastly, Kennedy`s call to action in the form of rhetorical questions (Source 1) is effective since he gives instruction before emphasizing unity, so everyone will follow his instructions. Throughout his speech, he echoes a concept of one united country despite the scare of a nuclear war since Kennedy believes, “divided, there is little we can do- for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder” (Source 1). Kennedy accentuates that splitting due to different viewpoints and opinions that are not part of the bigger picture will only hurt the…

    • 1051 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Obama uses epistrophe throughout his speech to awaken his listeners emotions through parallelism and place emphasis on a specific point which is that John Kerry is the man to represent America’s hope and future. In particular, Obama’s most powerful use of epistrophe is through the repetition of “hope”. Obama uses the word “hope” substantially when talking about why Americans should vote for John Kerry as president. He first uses it when he begins the section. “John Kerry calls on us to hope.…

    • 1127 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays