October 12, 2011
Rhetorical Analysis Midterm Essay
Former President George W. Bush gave a powerful speech addressing the people of America after the horrific terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 against the American government and its citizens. Bush used simple, yet authoritative, language to convey the message of firm leadership to listeners across the globe. The tone he used was one that brought feelings of wrath, fearfulness, and sympathy to his audience by stating that the ones harmed “were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors” and “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”
Bush had to appeal to many audiences in his speech. This included, but was not limited to, the people in New York City, Washington D.C., the general American population, worldwide leaders and citizens, and the terrorists themselves. Bush sent a dominant message to open his speech. He did not start with the typical “My fellow Americans” as most presidents use to begin to address the Nation, but instead, “Good evening. Today our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts”. This gave a sense of authority to the world as he knew everyone would be watching him and waiting on his response. By making the statement “Our financial institutions will remain strong” he tried to prevent a worldwide economic meltdown. This appealed to the worries that others were frightful of around the globe.
Throughout the speech he let the people know what actions he had taken and what actions were to come. This helped add to the content of his speech by reassuring his audience that not only did he feel the loss himself, but that he was willing to stand his ground and fight for our freedoms. At the time of the attacks he did not know who...