Analysis Of Jfk’s Inaugural Address In 1961

1088 words - 4 pages

Analysis 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 with a responsibility to spread freedom, justice, and
to rid the world of evils. In addition, he calls upon the American
people to stand strong as the backbone of the attempt to win the “long
twilight struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty,
disease, and war.”

Kennedy wanted the people to be reenergized about defending freedom, a
hallmark of American society. To do so, he looks to this country’s
past and how each generation of Americans have been summoned to give
testimony to its national loyalty. His intentions were to stir up
patriotism; make Americans realize that almost all of the previous
generations have, at one time or another demonstrated their loyalty to
the freedoms we all know and love. Today (1961) our duties as US
citizens are no different. “We dare not today forget that we are the
heirs of that first revolution…and we are unwilling to permit the slow
undoing of the human rights to which this nation has always been
committed to…The torch has been passed to a new generation of
Americans.” The address further calls upon enthusiasm by attempting to
make this particular demonstration of national spirit more special
then the times before when he said “Let every nation know…that we
shall pay any price…to assure the survival and the success of
liberty!” (And we paid that price of 56,000 soldiers in Vietnam).

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...

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