An Analysis of "A More Perfect Union"

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Once in a while we chance upon a read that moves and inspires us. One such gem is President Obama’s speech “A More Perfect Union”. The excellence of his speech can be attributed to his workings on three effective means of conveying rhetorical appeals in different ways to his audience. The first method he employs is his exhibit of admirable character and values that draws people to believe in his message. Second is his use of factual information that logically supports his arguments. The third method is his intent of eliciting specific emotions and feelings to capture his audience to draw awareness and support. All these ways are in full use throughout his speech which strongly delivers his message that dealing with racism head on, as one nation, enables this generation to achieve a more perfect America. Hence, to effectively understand the points he creates, this analysis discusses avenues that determine how effective he has been on his ethical appeals.
The first method he uses is his showcase of exemplary character and ethics. One of the values greatly admired in President Obama’s character, as projected in his speech titled “A More Perfect Union”, is his intense optimism buoyed by his unyielding belief in America - its people and generations. He states, “The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made… What we have already achieved gives as hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow” (659). His statement underlies a character of deep seated faith in what is good in America given the circumstances by which his life, from his own words “my own American story” (648), was made possible. No one can argue or challenge the fact that he is a product of American diversity -a melting pot of myriad cultures. From such belief comes forth his hopefulness that when people join together and choose to



Cited: Grath, David. “They said, I said.” With Readings. 3rd ed. Robert Conners and Cherly Gleen. New York St. Martin’s. 450-467

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