This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Analysis Of Persuasive Symbols In Ronald Reagan’s The Space Shuttle "Challenger" Tragedy Address

1512 words - 7 pages


Politicians frequently receive negative publicity at the hand of their own use of language. Their uses of words as they relate to persuasion typically fall within one of the three dimensions of language functional, semantic or thematic. Often their persuasive language can be found to closely resemble any of these three categories simultaneously. There are many tools for analyzing persuasive symbols, many of which should be utilized when analyzing great communicators such as President Ronald Reagan. In response to the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion on January 28th, 1986 where seven brave American’s gave their life. President Ronald Reagan made history with his famous ...view middle of the document...

137-138) Words can do many things. Words identify causes and effects, can motivate action, and point fingers while deflecting blame. Richard Weaver developed grammatical categories which analyze sentence and word type as a directive in analyzing the persuader’s world view. On the other hand the Semantic Dimension of language serves to give meaning to the persuasive use of language. Many words share the same meaning but not the same idea. Analyzing the choice of words in persuasion can be very difficult; identifying the intentional use of ambiguity can help with the realization of the true meaning rather than a misinterpretation due to open ended statements. Lastly the Thematic Dimension of Language as described in Larson (Persuasion: Reception and Responsibility (2010), pp 137-138) aids the theme or tone for the persuasion by setting a mood, or a feeling. Persuaders use God, Devil, and Charismatic Terms to persuade their audience’s co-created feelings associated with these words in despite of how they may feel about the subject at hand.

Ronald Reagan’s The Space Shuttle "Challenger" Tragedy Address

President Reagan is considered a great communicator for many reasons, notably he often uses simple sentences which highlight cause and effect. A good example of President Reagan’s strategic use of simple sentences is seen through the following lines:

“Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger”.

The first sentence presented offers a single and complete thought, one that establishes the tone of the persuasion through the Thematic Dimension. His use of simple sentences such as the second sentence presented offers the audience a co-created meaning, a shared feeling of bereavement. President Reagan doesn’t leave the meaning of his words up for interpretation as he later uses through the use of the Semantic Dimension of language. President Reagan frequently uses these short sentences and choice of words to present a clear foreground and background. In opening the speech President Reagan spoke of his plans to address the country and announced his new intentions in light of the tragic event that had taken place. The audience clearly identifies the intent of the speech and comprehends the message with certainty due to the use of simple meanings. A viewer can easily identify President Reagan’s simplistic view of the world they live in. He is very concise in establishing his stance on the matter and providing console with each brief point. For example,

“We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss”.

Here President Reagan continues his pattern of simple word choice and concise messages, rather than creating a complex sentence within his speech he ended the first thought and immediately supports it with the shared feeling of loss.

Within the simple sentences previously mentioned allusion to the Thematic...

Find Another Essay On Analysis of Persuasive Symbols in Ronald Reagan’s The Space Shuttle "Challenger" Tragedy Address

The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Essay

1298 words - 5 pages catastrophe, that still one occurred. Not disregarding the fact that this particular mission was taking the first ever teacher into space. When asking Gerald Wilson about the Challenger disaster his first words to me were “that was the space shuttle that the teacher was on.” Not only did NASA, The United States and Morton Thiokol fail trained astronauts, but they failed an innocent teacher. One of the standard practices necessary in order to

Development of the Space Shuttle Essay

1288 words - 5 pages United States with the exception of the two, Challenger and Columbia, that were destroyed in flight. Space shuttles not only enable greater exploration, but they allow supplies to be taken to a space station. The first space shuttle ever, called Enterprise, was built in 1976.1 It was originally developed as a test shuttle, without the ability for actual spaceflight, and was the only of the six shuttles that never made a trip out of the atmosphere

Rhetorical Analysis of President Reagan's Challenger Address

993 words - 4 pages On a cold winter’s morning on the 28th day of January in the year 1986, America was profoundly shaken and sent to its knees as the space shuttle Challenger gruesomely exploded just seconds after launching. The seven members of its crew, including one civilian teacher, were all lost. This was a game changer, we had never lost a single astronaut in flight. The United States by this time had unfortunately grown accustomed to successful space

The Columbia Space Shuttle

1671 words - 7 pages of the space shuttle. The Columbia space shuttle was important to space exploration because it used new technology that changed space travel, completed missions that other spacecraft could not, and brought new people into space. NASA received a contract to build the shuttle on July 26, 1972 as a prototype named the Enterprise (Dunbar “Space Shuttle” 1). Construction began on March 25, 1975, in Rockwell International’s assembly plant in Palmdale

The Challenger and Columbia Shuttle Disaster: NASA

1637 words - 7 pages events in this case study. The case study for this assignment looks at Challenger and Columbia NASA space shuttle disasters and the commission findings on the disasters/recommendations. Now with a short review of the case study what image(s) of change are present in the case study? From the case study the changes introduced are images of managing. These changes are both management of control and shaping. As NASA recovered from the 1986 Challenger

History Of Space Shuttle Program

687 words - 3 pages astronauts were killed in the disaster: commander Francis R. Scobee, pilot Michael J. Smith, mission specialists Judith A. Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka, and Ronald E. McNair, and payload specialists Gregory B. Jarvis and Christa McAuliffe. McAuliffe had been selected the preceding year as the first 'teacher in space,' a civilian spokesperson for the shuttle program. The tragedy brought an immediate halt to shuttle flights until systems could be analyzed

End of the Space Shuttle Program: An American Financial Voyage

1602 words - 6 pages and better manage the establishments. NASA stands proud of the staple 30 years the Shuttle Program made in achievements, goals, and innovation into prosperous future of Space travel; it is also compromised to keep succeeding the agenda with current missions. NASA’s Space Shuttle Program or Space Transportation System (STS) was developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration a federal executive branch. NASA coordinated and

Challenger Disaster: The Challenger tragedy was as much a failure of decision-making as of technology

1386 words - 6 pages The Challenger tragedy was as much a failure of decision-making as of technology. The determination to launch was made under so much emotional pressure that standard measures of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration were avoided, and the objections of specialists and engineers were either overruled or kept from main decision-makers. The pressures on NASA were forceful and diverse. They included the need to lock Congressional

NASA's Incompetence: The Challenger and Columbia Shuttle Disasters

1538 words - 6 pages On an unusually cool Florida morning in January 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 50,000 feet above ground just moments after liftoff killing seven crew members onboard (Palmer, Dunford, and Akin, 2009). A presidential commission, dubbed “the Rogers Commission” (hereafter, the Commission) after former Secretary of State William Rogers, was appointed to investigate the cause of the disaster. Although mechanical failure of an O-ring seal

Analysis of the Weather in Space

1476 words - 6 pages prevent blackouts, while the latter experienced widespread power outages due to an excess of electric activity on its power grids. Outside the atmosphere, control of satellites in orbit was lost, including one Japanese satellite that was deemed a total loss. The International Space Station’s astronauts had to enter a safety chamber to avoid the radiation effects (Young). Amidst other planets within the Solar System, the flare also made itself

Analysis of The Redfern Address

2060 words - 9 pages Summary of Text: ‘The Redfern Address’ is a speech that was given to a crowd made up of mainly indigenous Australians at the official opening of the United Nations International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples in Redfern Park, New South Wales. This text deals with many of the challenges that have been faced by Indigenous Australians over time, while prompting the audience to ask themselves, ‘How would I feel?’ Throughout the text

Similar Essays

Analysis Of Persuasive Symbols In Ronald Reagan's The Space Shuttle "Challenger" Tragedy Address

1528 words - 7 pages , pp 137-138) aids the theme or tone for the persuasion by setting a mood, or a feeling. Persuaders use God, Devil, and Charismatic Terms to persuade their audience’s co-created feelings associated with these words in despite of how they may feel about the subject at hand. Ronald Reagan’s The Space Shuttle "Challenger" Tragedy Address President Reagan is considered a great communicator for many reasons, notably he often uses simple sentences

The Space Shuttle Challenger Tragedy Essay

1307 words - 5 pages On January 28, 1968 the space shuttle Challenger was deployed from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. One minute and thirteen seconds after liftoff the spaceship ignited in mid air and all seven crew members were killed. The cause of the destruction of the challenger was a certain part of rubber that relieves pressure on the side of the actual rocket booster called an O-ring. When a space shuttle as used as the Challenger is about to be used for

Risk Analysis Of The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

1208 words - 5 pages Executive Summary The project that I was involved in was the Risk Analysis of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster. I began this in February 2014 and my project supervisor was Dr. Seth, professor of project management, data and decision making, operations Research, operations management and supply chain management, total quality management and Six Sigma. My main objective was to make a risk analysis of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Essay

2863 words - 11 pages promote the efficiency of the new space shuttle Orbiter system, it had planned many missions for 1986, of which the Challenger launch was the first [2]. At the time, NASA’s goal was two reach two launches per month, a goal that well exceeded the budget and training facilities available [2]. The night before the launch, a teleconference between Thiokol and NASA was held to address the concerns regarding the performance of the SRB O-ring seal in