Back to school
In a world where the all the countries compete with each other all the time, it’s important for every country to make sure that the future adults are well educated and capable of participating in this competition. In the speech ‘Back to School’ Barack Obama encourages the young people of America to get an education and work hard in order to continue America’s history of success.
Obama’s speech is addressed to the young people of America. He speaks directly to a bunch of young people in a high school in Arlington, Virginia and the speech is transmitted to a lot of other students in all ages. This is probably why he starts the speech with a ‘Hello everyone, how’s everybody doing today?’1 It’s a pretty laid back way of starting a speech and the goal is probably to break the ice and engage the audience by making a connection between himself and the audience. He wants the young people to identify with him and he tells them he has been where they are right now, by saying ‘ I get it. I know what that’s like.’2 By saying this, he tries to remove the distance between being the president of America and being a normal teenager.. Obama points out to the audience that even the boy, who ended up being the president, has had a strained relationship to being a student and going to school. He gets down on their level when he says ‘it’s quite understandable if you’re feeling a little nervous’3and ‘some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning. I know that feeling’4 So you can say that he addresses the audience with some kind of sympathy by saying that he understands them and the goal of this is to give the impression that Obama isn’t just a bossy president, he is actually their friend who wants the best for them and that they aren’t that different, meaning that they can do what he has done.
Obama uses anaphors in his speech where he repeats words such as ‘I’ve’, ‘maybe you could’,