Rhetorical Analysis, Declan Devaney
In his awaited response to Chicago pastor, Jeremiah Wright’s uncivil outburst, Barrack Obama puts to shame the hasteful denunciations from Americans. He creates redemption for Wright’s actions which produces an emotional appeal with his citizens. Ushered forward by Obama is the back story of Reverend Wright,- something Obama’s audience had been comfortably oblivious to until now- his hardships, victories, and benevolent deeds that reveal his true nature; not the one of ill nature or ignorance that one might think otherwise. But, before President Obama can do this, he must give himself a sense of credibility through sharing a portion of his own backstory.
In the 6th paragraph of Obama’s speech, he introduces a small yet personal synopsis of his family’s story. He acknowledges the role that the United States has played in Obama’s kin, and his own, journey “And for as long as I live… my story is even possible.” (paragraph 6, lines 7-8) Although, he says “my story,” Obama is rhetorically telling his audience the United States of America is the sole place where almost anything can be accomplished, no matter how unfeasible the quest; many grown Americans are able to connect to this one statement because America, the land of the brave and free, is the reason they have their own “my story.” He confirms this notion in lines 9 and 10 of the same paragraph,“this nation is more... we are truly one.” Obama’s mixed race that he identifies in this paragraph(6) sets up as an anecdote used 15 paragraphs later.
“I can no more disown him than… stereotypes that made me cringe.” (paragraph 21, lines 1-5) President Obama makes the point of acquainting with the “black community” before introducing his white grandmother. His verbal gesture emphasizes neither is above the other and reinforces his racial credibility. The president qualifies his beloved grandma as an illustration that demonstrates how even though loved ones have the occasional...
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