Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Jfk Inaugural Speech

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Dean Howard
ENG105
Rhetorical Analysis

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, arguably one of our greater presidents in our nation’s history, was assassinated on a Friday in the early stages of winter in 1963; however, he had accomplished much more than a man with lesser courage could have in his services to our country. One of President Kennedy’s most memorable actions while in office, actually took place very early on in his presidency; his Inaugural Speech in January of 1961. When attempting to motivate our citizens, Kennedy speaks of our citizens being “tempered by war,” and “proud of our ancient heritage,” he very successfully appeals to the emotions of his audience. Furthermore, his use of ethos quite effective when he speaks of sticking to the intentions and roles when compared to that of our forefathers, acknowledging the fact that we as a nation were built on the core principals provided by these men. The least successful, yet still powerful, statements were those concerning appeals to the logic, such as mentioning the downsides economically of the arms race, which at the time was the biggest fear of all Americans. The author of this speech, John F. Kennedy, is speaking to a wide variety of audiences in this certain situation. The most obvious is the American people, and those who are directly affected by his election. However, those who opposed the United States at the time could have been tuned in to his inaugural address, possibly to see what he is planning for the current disputes between the nations. Political parties, whether Democratic, Republican, or otherwise would have definitely been in the viewing audience, as they are practically being introduced to their new boss so to speak, and also get a preview of his goals in the near future. President Kennedy’s purpose of giving this speech is quite simple, to motivate the citizens of the United States for his upcoming term, giving a general outline and speak of his intentions during the term....
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