Rhetorical Analysis Of John F. Kennedy 's ' Speech Through The Ages '

784 Words Sep 2nd, 2016 4 Pages
Research Assessment Task – “Speeches Through the Ages”
Rhetorical Analysis:
A comparative analysis of both John F. Kennedy’s (JFK) Inaugural Speech (1961) and Barack Obama’s Democratic National Convention Speech (2004) investigates the similarities and differences in the linguistic styles employed to address the American public ‘through the ages’. Both speeches create unity by addressing the audience as, ‘we’ and ‘us’. This is an appeal to pathos as it reduces the distance between the president and the public. The speech becomes far less imposing and turns into an inspirational conversation. This is also useful in appealing to nationalism (natos) which plays on emotions. By creating unity, the American public feels it is their duty to do what is required for their country.
Both JFK and Obama also use repetition as a tool to reinforce their message. This technique builds logos and pathos as it solidifies the strength of the argument presented by the respective president. For example, Obama uses a negative-positive restatement when he says, “There is not a black America and a white America…” ("Repetition", 2013). Obama uses this technique to demonstrate the argument from an opposing perspective. He also repeatedly uses ‘America’ as a symbol to enforce that America is one.
Similarly, JFK repeats his famous ‘ask not’ line to subsequently address all ‘citizens of the world’. In essence, both presidents could deliver the same message in a succinct manner, however, utilise…

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