Letter From Marmingham Jail And I Have A Dream Speech Rhetorical Analysis

1659 Words 7 Pages
In 2001, the United States of America witnessed its largest tragedy to date. America had been sucker-punched in the back of the head that fateful September 11th morning by an Islamic extremist group known as al-Qaeda. The attacks involved nineteen men who highjacked a series of commercial airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, and a field in Pennsylvania. New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania became the final resting place of thousands of people as a result. This amount of devastation scared and shook the American public to their core. The future of this once great nation was now unclear. In order to combat the fear amongst the American …show more content…
Describing pathos as, “understanding the emotions—that is, to name them and describe them, to know their causes and the way in which they are excited,” Aristotle is plainly saying, pathos is being able to put the audience in a certain state of mind with the use of emotions. In order to persuade, the speaker must be able to create an identity that corresponds with the emotions of an audience. For example, in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” and “I have a Dream” speech, King had to use pathos to develop a common identity with his audience’s emotion. By showing he knows the fear and struggle of his audience, King is able to create a more unified identity among his black and white audiences. He went on to lead the civil rights movement and formed a more equal …show more content…
Heidt, a metaphor is, “a particularly powerful rhetorical device when audience response requires little to no cognitive activity and the metaphor can immediately relate two dissimilar concepts” (2013. p233). The point that Heidt is trying to make is that metaphors can be used as rhetorical tools by a speaker because they simplify complicated subjects for an audience. Metaphors are deployed by speech givers so the audience does not have to thoroughly examine what is being said to understand the point of the speech. If a speaker is unable to clarify his or her subject matter to an audience, they have failed. Later in Heidt’s article, he mentions that metaphors are useful for structuring world views and organizing public conceptions in particular directions (2013. p234). Therefore demonstrating, why political leaders like Ronald Reagan deployed metaphors such as the ‘City of the Hill’ in their speeches, because they are powerful persuasive tools. Heidt believes Reagan’s narrative was “the notion that ‘“‘other countries see our entre-preneurial spirit and seek to emulate it,’’” that it was natural to offer the U.S. experi-ence as exemplar, to offer U.S. support”( 2013. p 239). Using a metaphor to create such a narrative is what made Reagan such a popular president. He persuaded people believe America is the country that other countries look up

Related Documents