Franklin D. Roosevelt asked for a Joint Session of Congress in which only the most important issues are discussed which gives the American People an idea of the magnitude of the matter at hand; this establishes credibility or Ethos right off the bat. The speech’s audience is undoubtedly the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, the members of the Senate, and the House of Representatives. We can also rightly assume that the American people are an indirect audience or secondary audience, because Roosevelt needs the support of the people in order to go to war. Roosevelt used the speech to educate the American people on the occurrence of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 as well as to justify his reasons for going to war with the Japanese people.
Roosevelt uses Pathos throughout the speech to appeal to the American’s emotions and persuade them to want revenge for Pearl Harbor. He states that, “The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." Which he used to tell the audience that he had no idea the attack was coming; he wanted to be sure everyone understood the situation. He also makes sure to explain the state between the two nations before the attack, which in his words were, “The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific." He says this to further justify his abhorrence for the Japanese by using Pathos once again to appeal to emotion. He solidifies the idea of Japan being an untrustworthy and deviant nation by saying "The distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for
Cited: 1. "Day of Infamy" Speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt, December 8, 1941 Records of the United States Senate; Record Group 46; National Archives.