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George W. Bush Inaugural Speech 2001

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In his inaugural speech on January 20 th in 2001, President Bush reminds the American people of the rare authority in history and that they can easily affirm old traditions and make new beginnings. He begins with the story of the United States and gives several examples like slavery or the immigrants coming to America. After that he describes the ideals everyone has got, the promise that everybody deserves a chance. Furthermore Bush requests Americans to enact this promise and to follow that course. Moreover he states, they still have a long way to go to strengthen the trust in the country. Then Bush mentions all people are God´s children, but there is still social injustice. He reminds the audience of the importance of ideals and principles, leading them onwards. Today they assert a new commitment to live out the promise. Personal responsibility is valued in America.

In his inaugural speech Bush uses various stylistic devices to convince the listener of his opinion and of him, being the right candidate for presidency. His speech falls into eight parts. It is obviously important for the speaker to create an atmosphere of trust, therefor he uses a biblical allusion in line 41 ´´God bless you all, and God bless America.´´. Bush employs alliteration, as proof you can refer to line 9 ´´flawed and fallible people´´ to reduce an usually rhytmic effect and to make the description of the people more forcefully, that they are not perfect and likely to make mistakes and therefore the people today can identify with those. An instance of syntactical parallelism occurs in line 11 ´´ that everyone belongs, that everyone deserves´´ to draw the listener´s attention to the fact that no one is excluded from the American promise. ´´A rock in a raging sea´´ (ll.15/16), that is a metaphor to stimulate the listener´s imagination and to show how strong America´s faith in freedom and democracy was. The speaker makes use of enumeration mixed with alliteration ´´civility, courage, compassion and character´´ (ll.34/35) to reinforce that the distinguishing features are necessary to live out the promise of the American nation. He often uses ´´us´´ or ´´we´´ , which is shown for instance in lines 3, 5 and 39 to create a feeling of community.
All in all President Bush intends to persuade the audience of his opinions and his ideas by using a lot of stylistic devices. Furthermore, he asks them to support him and also his programme. He does not speak out his political aims and keeps very general. It is only an inaugural speech and consequently he needs the support of the whole country appealing to many people.

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