Obama's Inauguration Speech Rhetorical Analysis

Topics: Barack Obama, President of the United States, United States Pages: 3 (962 words) Published: April 13, 2014

Five years ago, the citizens of America elected their first African American president, Barack Obama. This was a huge stepping stone for America, but it also brought upon many different reactions from American citizens including reluctance, but also a sense of faith. During his first Inaugural Address, President Obama vows to rebuild America by forgiving its past and helping them rebuild their future. In order to gain his country’s trust Obama appealed to his audience through emotion and credibility and used rhetorical tools like allusion. With the uses of rhetorical tools, Obama was able to create a speech that induced hope and relief in his audience.

From the very beginning of his speech, Obama addressed the emotions of his listeners. He recognized the crisis that the country was in and how it affected American citizen as this time. He knew with the weakened economy that “homes have been lost, jobs shed and business shuttered.” He knew that these were “indicators of crisis” and that these were problems that needed immediate attention. “Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real.” As Obama addresses each of the problems that the country faces, he brings the people together through shared suffering. He knows that many citizens are suffering from the problems he stated and by forming a sense of unity he was able to being to tackle the problem. Obama was able to reassure the people that these problems will be met. “They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America- they will be met.” By hearing this on Inauguration Day, the citizens were given a sense of relief that their problems will soon be gone and that they had made the right decision with their 44th president. However, no matter how much Obama appealed to emotion, nothing would have been possible with his credibility.

Obama’s credibility was shown through the first sentences of his speech. “I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for...
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