Jfk Inauguration Speech

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On January 20, 1961, the world turned on their television to see how the newly elected American President, J. F. Kennedy, would address the issues of proliferating weapons and the propagating “iron tyranny” (7). Kennedy delivers a speech that aims to ameliorate their many fears and also establish himself as a capable president –one that would take a strong stance for democracy in a war against communism. By employing well-crafted syntax, specific diction, and explicit tone, Kennedy is able to eloquently present his purpose and unify his audience under a shared sense of purpose. The first obstacle that Kennedy tackles is the apparent distrust from the American people. Kennedy was an atypical president at the time because he was Catholic and exceptionally young, both qualities that created distrust suspicion in the people. How would he lead a nation with only 44 years of wisdom? Would he dare to meddle with the separation of church and state? However, Kennedy quickly topples all their doubts with his clear conviction. Although his speech used some images of God and Biblical allusions that demonstrated Kennedy’s piety, such as “Almighty God” and “command of Isaiah”, they also illustrate that his priority is actually to fight for democracy as an American citizen (1, 18). When “swears before you [America] and Almighty God”, he cleverly manipulates the syntax to shows the order of his alliance: America first and then God. Furthermore, he establishes himself, not as a president, but as an American citizen who was “born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage” (3). The “ancient heritage” refers to the founding fathers and their fight for democracy, a time that every American is proud of. In the same description, he also alludes to the World Wars that most Americans at the time had been a part of. By invoking those events that most influenced American society, Kennedy is able to confirm that his differences...
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