Rhetoric Essay on Barack Obama’s Inaugural Speech
A president’s inauguration address can indicate his vision for his next term, rally the country, and make his play for the history books. President Obama’s speech had no soaring JFK moments and even extracting significant lines to discuss was rather difficult. The speech was unified by a “journey” metaphor and by repeating “We, the people.” The president brought God into the climate change debate, upheld the role of government as a collective entity of the people, made gay rights a part of our civil religion, and alluded to gun control without mentioning it in terms of “the safety of our children.”
Elected as the 44th president, Barack Obama made history being the first African American to be elected president of the United States. Barack Obama’s inauguration speech set a record for the amount of people there at any event in the nation. Obama delivers an uplifting speech to the nation filled with rhetorical devices and appeals that caught much American’s attention. One rhetoric appeal that Obama used was pathos. “Homes have been lost, jobs shed, business shuttered”, Obama said. This is significant because this is a reason why Obama wants to make the United States a better place. This pathos appeals to emotion. Another rhetoric appeal that Obama used was ethos. “I thank President Bush for his service to our nation.” This means that President Obama respects what he did for the nation but now it’s his turn to come in and take the thrown. This ethos appeals to Obama’s respectfulness.
“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall…” The entire first half of the clause is an extended allusion. In this case Obama is alluding to the country’s two founding documents. The point of using rhetorical devices isn’t to...
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