Rhetorical Analysis of Reagan Speech

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Rhetorical Analysis on Ronald Reagan’s “Challenger” Speech

While in the Oval Office of the White house, on January 28, 1986, President Ronald Reagan delivered his speech about The Challenger Disaster. The speech was made just hours after space shuttle “Challenger” exploded during take-off, killing all seven crew members on board. Thousands witnessed this horrifying event live in person and on television. A big factor about this launch, making the explosion an even worse disaster was the fact that this mission was very unique. For the first time, NASA allowed a civilian to be allowed in space during a mission. She was aboard The Challenger as an observer in the NASA Teacher in Space Program. Ironically, nineteen years before this disaster, three astronauts were tragically lost in an accident on the ground. President Reagan remembers those astronauts that were lost not only the day of the disaster, but also those who were lost nineteen years before. He conducts this speech not only to mourn the death of The Challenger astronauts, but for the families and those who were impacted from this event. He especially calls out to the schoolchildren of America who were watching this event live as the shuttle took off. As the President of the United States, Reagan earned the nickname "The Great Communicator" due to his ability to convey his beliefs concerning economic and domestic policies to the public. This speech is just one example of how well Reagan spoke to the American public on a personal level and profoundly influenced the nations confidence in itself after this tragic event. To analyze this speech, we will use the Aristotelian approach. The Aristotelian approach consists of five canons, which are invention, organization, style, memory and delivery. We will also focus on the internal proofs of this speech, which are logos or logical argument; ethos, the appeal of the speaker's character; and pathos, emotional appeal. In his speech regarding the Challenger...
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