Pearl Harbor Speech Analysis

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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
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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

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