Pearl Harbor Speech Analysis

Improved Essays
Pearl Harbor Speech
On December 7th, 1941 the attack on Pearl Harbor took place. This surprise attack shocked not just the United States, but also the rest of the world. There were thousands of injuries and casualties in Hawaii that day, and the U.S. navy was left stunned. America had believed that the base at Pearl Harbor was safe; therefor, they were not ready for an attack. Ships were sunk, or completely destroyed and many lives were changed forever. There was also the USSR’s war with Germany and the other colonies of the United Kingdom, United States and the Netherlands that were currently being invaded by Japan. These previous events were the context of why a speech was given by President Roosevelt on December 8th, 1941.
Roosevelt’s “Day
…show more content…
He listed all of the offenses Japan had done. By doing this, he made the common people aware of things they may not have none of; therefor, causing them to see Japan as the enemy and possibly adding to their hatred of that country. He does this through the use of repetition and this enhances his speech by supporting his purpose. He lists the facts beginning with the phrase “Last night, Japan…”, and ending each sentence with the forces Japan attacked. This captures the attention of the audience and causes them to focus on the several attacks the Japanese have performed on several people. It makes one think about how this must be stopped and realize that the problem at hand does not endanger just them, but also many others. With this technique, Roosevelt persuades the audience to immediately react to the brutality of the situation. It also amplifies the main point behind his entire speech. Without the strategy of repetition, Roosevelt would not have gotten the same effect. The ending of the speech concludes the motives behind the speech, which he had stated early on. He repeated his purposes to add emphasis to his reasoning behind the persuasion of the declaration of war. Roosevelt’s argument was evident throughout his speech and his repetition of evidence helped get his argument …show more content…
One example is the change from “a date which will live in world history” to “a date which will live in infamy”. This is the most significant change, and it strengthened his speech greatly. This simple change became the most well known phrase out of Roosevelt’s entire speech. Today, Pearl Harbor is known as “the day which will live in infamy”. The audience, being the nation, needed to know the brutality of this event, and needed to understand that December 7th, 1941 would forever be known for its evil acts. The word infamy worked better considering the circumstances an audience. Another change that was made at the beginning of the speech was the word “suddenly” in replace of “simultaneously”. The first draft said that “the United States of America was simultaneously and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan”. The change to “suddenly” made the attack seem more targeted at Pearl Harbor instead of it being a part of a series of events. This strengthened Roosevelt’s argument by making America look like Japan’s main target; therefor, subsequently encouraging his audience to be enraged with anger towards Japan. This simple change completely transformed the meaning behind the sentence. I believe this change added to Roosevelt’s overall purpose of his speech. One last major change was in sentence that originally stated “It will be recorded that

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Pearl Harbor Address December 7th, 1941. Most Americans today know that date to be significant because of the tragic events that took place at Pearl Harbor. War was ravaging across Europe all while the United States remained calm. That is, until Japan carried out a surprise attack on America’s beloved Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii was America’s little slice of paradise, and so many Americans became eager for revenge.…

    • 1056 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    "Yesterday, December 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan" (). These are the words the 32nd President of the United States begin his Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation on December 8th, 1941. FDR's speech was a call to action, and in his speech, he expressed outstanding distaste towards Japan. The speech was directed to Congress for them to declare war against Japan which would bring the United States into World War II. FDR's speech was an outstanding success in bringing the United States into World War II because FDR explained why going to war needed to be declared and used righteous indignation which would give the United…

    • 1189 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Pearl Harbor Attack Essay

    • 1471 Words
    • 6 Pages

    However, this attack galvanized the American people and Roosevelt got the next day, December 8, 1941, Congress approved the declaration of war against Japan. The lack of foresight of the military authorities before a possible attack provoked harsh criticism at the time. And even some historians have suggested that Roosevelt knew about the attack…

    • 1471 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The reason FDR focuses much of his speech on pathos is because of the tragic event that had just occurred. With that in mind, much of America was feeling animosity towards Japan, and the congress was no exception. People were mad, and by using pathos to sway their sympathetic and emotional state of mind. FDR's words made the Japan look like an evil that the United States must stop, Not only does he pump the audience with feelings of sadness and anger, he also encourages the United States of what they can do and what they are capable of. He believed as long as they were "with confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph" and this was his way to really stir up the American spirit in congress to make them feel as though they can all pull through what had just happened and go to war as the great nation of the US.…

    • 581 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    He seems to be consciously aiming for a response from Congress and the American people, which makes the argument. The speaker tries to make the reader care by using examples of how Japan caused many attacks in the Pacific area and they should defend themselves from the inevitable. He also uses this evidence to describe where and when Japan attacked, promoting support of the nation. He uses rhetorical devices such as repetition, discord, and ramifications. For example, he uses the phrase "Japanese forces attacked..." repetitively in his speech, "the attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces" shows strife in the United States, and he describes possibilities and consequences if they do not do anything to prevent their attacks.…

    • 1450 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Causes Of Pearl Harbor

    • 2333 Words
    • 10 Pages

    The attack on Pearl Harbor brought the hammer down on the United States. The casualties that came from the American side were outrageous. The death toll reached up to over 2,402 people, and many more were injured. The attack was so devastating that a counterattack on the Japanese was almost impossible with the forces at Pearl Harbor("Attack on Pearl Harbor"). After the word of the attack spread to the United States, shock and sorrow were prominent among most American people.…

    • 2333 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    This feeling, and belief, in the United States stems to the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attacks because in the face of disaster the American people rose up to new heights for their country and for their rights as citizens in a nation that was bruised. Franklin Roosevelt personified these feelings in the words when he stated, “When our enemies challenged our country to stand up and fight, they challenged each and every one of us, and each and every one of us has accepted the challenge for himself and his nation.” Americans no longer thought of themselves during this time, they placed aside issues that would divide and instead focused upon their country in which they wanted to help to…

    • 1926 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Infamy Speech Analysis

    • 916 Words
    • 4 Pages

    He did this so he could make the listeners understand the ruthless attacks the Japanese committed. According to Roosevelt 's main objective of the speech, he wanted the Americans to support and prepare for a war against the Japanese Empire. He successfully completed this objective by using emotional words to make the Americans upset by the attacks. "This form of treachery," "onslaught against us," and "deliberately planned"–are all phrases that FDR used in the speech to present the evilness of the Japanese at the time. These words didn 't necessarily stick out from the rest of the speech.…

    • 916 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    December 8, 1941). This quote from the beginning of the Day of Infamy Speech, about the destruction and loss of lives during the attack. The speech was delivered by the President of the USA at the time – Franklin D. Roosevelt – on the 8th of December, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbour attack was attacked. This speech confirms that the attack was a very brutal and painful experience, to the people who were forced to defend the base, but also to the military leaders. However, while it does convey these messages about the attack, it is clearly from America’s point of view, and is definitely biased.…

    • 1190 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Ww2 Ethical Analysis

    • 1172 Words
    • 5 Pages

    On the darker side of this nationalism, was a call for revenge. The American public wanted retribution for the attack on Pearl Harbor and this anger affected many decisions involving Japan and Japanese people within the United States. Decades of racial tension with Japanese immigrants erupted into hate and persecution. Inflationary journalism, politicians and military figures all sought to demonize the Japanese people and place them as a target for retaliation. Frank Knox, the secretary of the navy under president Roosevelt during Pearl Harbor held prior beliefs that Japanese people living in America were not to be trusted as early as 1933 when he first called for Japanese internment.…

    • 1172 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays