Rhetorical Analysis Of JFK Inaugural Address

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Rhetorical Analysis of John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
On a cold winters day in Washington D.C on January 20, 1961 John Fitzgerald Kennedy, took the oath of office to be the 35th President of the United States. John F. Kennedy also referred to as JFK, was the youngest man to become President at the age of 43. He won by 115,000 popular votes. His inaugural address has been known to impact our world. It was impactful because America had just ended the long cold war with the Soviet Union; which brought much sorrow to our country. When JFK was elected President he wanted to make sure to give the American people uplifting
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Ted Sorsenson, who was JFK’s primary speech writer wrote an analysis over his speech called “JFK’s inaugural address was world-changing,” he goes on to say that he doesn’t believe this speech was his best but that it provided a new outlook for the future. JFK used such powerful words like world-changing, peace, embarking, and honor. Sorsenson believes Kennedy did this because he was the youngest President at the time needed a way to connect with the people. He wanted the American people to take him seriously and know that even though he was young he was still going to take his job seriously. He exclaimed, “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.” (JFK 1) This quote is meant to give hope to his audience. That he will make amends with any person or country to ensure hope within all nations. Another point of his powerful, promising diction is in this quote “So let us begin anew -- remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.” The use of the words anew, civility, and never all stick out to be uplifting words to encourage his audience that a brighter future is coming. Throughout …show more content…
In the opening section of his speech he uses flashbacks to describe how those events shaped America today. He says “We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans -- born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage.” (JFK 1) Kennedy alludes to the first revolution, the wars America had fought, and how proud our ancestors are of our heritage. The allusions help the audience see how educated Kennedy is on the history of America and how important our country is to him. Near the end of his speech he begins to foreshadow the bright future that Americans will come across. One of his most famous quotes was said in this speech “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” (JFK 2) Kennedy says this to ensure in his people that they will make America successful again if he can gain everyone’s support in making a change. He also states “In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility -- I welcome it.” (JFK 2) Once again Kennedy foreshadows what he plans to do in order to push America

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