Rhetorical Analysis of JFK's Inauguration Speech Essay
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John Fitzgerald Kennedy delivered one of the most important American speeches after being sworn in as president on January 20, 1961. His inauguration speech was so influential that it seized the nation’s attention, and quotes from it are still clearly remembered by people today. It is considered one of the best speeches ever written and ever delivered. It presents a strong appeal to pathos, ethos, and logos and accomplishes what any speaker strives for – it speaks straight to the heart of the audience and inspires people.
John F Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States and at 43 years old he was the youngest president to take office. Because of his youth, he stumbled upon much skepticism from his opposition and even a little…show more content…
The Kennedy family was very popular and had well-known moral standards, so it is no surprise that in John F Kennedy’s inaugural speech there were constant examples of ethos, in which he appealed to the audience through moral values. His moral standpoint became apparent as he mentions God and doing the right thing.
“With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth and to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing here on earth God’s work must truly be our own” (Kennedy par 27).
Kennedy recognizes his presidential duties and acknowledges the trust that has been placed in him to lead the country when he stated: “I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it” (Kennedy par 24).
With the Vietnam War affecting so many people across the world, Kennedy took extreme caution in what he said. His use of pathos includes many patriotic expressions and words to unite Americans. His phrases like “forge against these enemies,” (Kennedy par 23) “cultural and spiritual origins” (Kennedy par 6) and “a celebration of freedom” (Kennedy par 1) imply that the war is not simply a political issue, but a moral responsibility. On the other hand, though these phrases offer a feeling of civic duty, nothing compares to the legendary quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country” (Kennedy par 25). This message is so powerful because it speaks of
Show MoreAnalysis of JFK’s Inaugural Address in 1961
Throughout history, Presidents have used the Inaugural Address as an opportunity to help the mental framework of the American people and to the greater world. In order to effectively do so, those who craft the address must exhibit a mastery of rhetoric. More so than in other writing pieces, an Inaugural Address by nature appeals more to the rhetorical element of emotion. This is due to the fact that the address is intended to move its audience with powerful and socially lasting statements.
The rhetorical element of emotion was especially vital to the address of former President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy’s emotion presented the whole free world…show more content…
With communism beginning to spread on the other side of the globe, Kennedy attempted to reach out to America’s rivals in hopes of getting across a desire for peace and prosperity. “Let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.” This statement laid the foundation for the actual actions that the Kennedy Administration took to make this happen. Later in 1961, The Peace Corp was initiated to further advance third world countries and a ban on nuclear testing was negotiated between the two superpowers in 1963. These measures brought about a relaxation in cold war tensions following a time of severe confrontation early in the administration.
One fundamental aspect of American philosophy in the 1960s was the belief that individuals could make a difference. The famous line, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" mirrored the belief that Americans had that they could influence their events in their country. The speech echoed in the