B) Analysis and comments on President Barack Obama’s speech ”Back to School” Education is one of President Barack Obama’s key issues. It is a very import factor in determining the rising generation’s competitiveness and more important a keystone in maintaining their position as the only superpower. Obama’s speech “Back to School”, which was held at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia on September 8, 2009, is an excellent opportunity for the President to address students across America directly and to state and elaborate the importance of education.
The audience consist of students aged six to eighteen and due to this audience he uses colloquial language and many real-life exemplifications to simplify his message and engage the audience. This is already clear from the first line, “Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today?”1 By being delightfully informal and speaking directly to his audience, Obama puts on an equal footing with his audience. This is an intentional choice to assure that the students can identify themselves with him and thus hopefully listen intensely. Obama presents himself as honest and reliable: “I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have.”2 To acknowledge one’s errors is considered sympathetic and the purpose with this quote is to edify or improve Obama’s image and hereby strengthen his ethos. Obama acknowledges that he has made errors, but inspiringly emphasises that with hard work you can still achieve goals in life, that even with errors you can become the President of the United States.
After Obama has created a certain image of himself, he has the ability to demand something of his audience. Thus he repeats the word ‘responsibility’ up to eight times in a short amount of time. He also uses several anaphors as a rhetorical device with the purpose to clarify his message, “I’ve talked about your teacher’s responsibility (…) I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility (…) I’ve talked a...
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