Rhetorical Analysis Of Obama Speech

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The Democratic National Committee invited Barack Obama to give the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic Convention. This news came as a surprise as Obama had not yet gained national attention, and was not an obvious choice when compared to other candidates. After his inspiring speech however, Obama became well known throughout America which was good news for John Kerry, as Obama’s speech was intended to persuade voters to support Kerry as president. Obama uses rhetorical devices such as climax in structure, epistrophe, and metonymy to persuade skeptical voters to vote for John Kerry as their next president. Obama makes his speech more convincing by using climax to split his speech into multiple sections; the first section is used …show more content…
To introduce himself and start his speech Obama talks about his family’s history. Going all the way back to his grandparent’s time, Obama discusses his family’s humble beginnings. Then, tracing his family’s history to the present, Obama explains how it was through the mercy and generosity of America that he was able to get to where he is today. By starting his speech with an introduction to his family 's history, Obama makes it clear that he is a true American, and that he is one and the same as the rest of the voters. This makes Obama seem like a reliable source of information to the listeners. Obama displays himself as someone who they can trust and listen to. In addition, by starting his speech this way, Obama shows how thankful he is to be a citizen of America and indirectly implies that every citizen should be just as proud to be a citizen of America. Obama then continues on to the next portion of his speech, which encompasses what he hopes to see America accomplish in the future. The “climax” of his speech is in Obama’s last section, which contains the whole reason in why Obama made the speech in the first place and …show more content…
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. John Edwards calls on us to hope” he says. From then on, hope is in almost every sentence in the remaining section. The hope of the slaves who were victorious, the hope of immigrants seeking a better life in America, the hope of brave soldiers fighting for their country, the hope of children rising above expectations, and finally the hope of a small kid named Barack Obama, who would one day stand before the Democratic Convention, giving the keynote address. Obama then uses hope for the last time, saying “Hope—Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!” Obama’s unending use of the word hope emphasizes the fact that throughout history, change is made when someone began to hope. It

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