A Rhetorical Analysis Of JFK

Topics: Vice President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon Pages: 2 (878 words) Published: December 28, 2014
Nguyen Van Minh
JFK's Inaugural Address
John F Kennedy delivered one of the finest speeches on January 20, 1961 after being sworn into office. His inauguration speech was so powerful that it captured the entire nation attention, and quotes from it are still remembered by people today. It is one of the finest speeches ever written. It provides a strong appeal to pathos, ethos and logos, and it is because of this that people who never heard the speech can quote lines from it. This speech was delivered on January 20th 1961; In Washington D.C. President Kennedy had narrowly won the popular vote by only two tenths to win over the former vice President and Republican Candidate Richard Nixon. Kennedy doesn’t actually use many statics or numbers to build ethos, but instead uses his credibility and affirming words to build credibility. Having been elected into office it is a safe assumption that he was already widely accepted as a credible source by this time. He also builds ethos in the way he holds himself and by his manner of speaking in a clear and annunciated way. Ethos is not built from a name only, but from the verbiage that JFK used masterfully. He was well aware of the fact that not everyone supported him or his party, which is why he opens with “We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom…” Who would not stand behind that? He then goes on to address opponents of his by stating, “We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom,” this is a way he ties in Pathos to his introduction; playing at the innate drive Americans have for freedom. He conveys a respect for other opinions and views; this can be a major way to build credibly when speaking to people who may not agree. He doesn’t use numbers to talk up his credibility but instead appeals to many groups, this a good use of Ethos, while also using multiple rhetorical devices at once....
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