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President Obama’s Inaugural Speech: Rhetorical Analysis

1016 words - 4 pages

President Obama’s Inaugural Speech: Rhetorical Analysis

Barrack Obama’s inauguration speech successfully accomplished his goal by using rhetoric to ensure our nation that we will be under safe hands. The speech is similar from ideas obtained from the founding documents and Martin Luther King’s speech to establish ‘our’ goal to get together and take some action on the problems our country is now facing. As President Barrack Obama starts his speech, he keeps himself from using ‘me’, ‘myself’, and ‘I’ and replacing it with ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘together’ to achieve ethos. He makes sure his audience connects with him directly by making them feel at his level, and him at theirs. This way he connects to the audience, and in exchange, helps his statement of unity. Using various examples of parallelism, anaphora and refrain, Obama brands the theme of equality and togetherness in our country throughout the speech, vital to gain the respect of his audience. Obama recalls the ‘enduring strength of the constitution’ by delving into the past alluding to America’s allegiance to the Declaration of Independence by quoting “we hold these truths… that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. This expression clearly shows more ethos by reminding us that the quote of equality is of great importance today as it was the time it was written.

In the light of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, which happened on the same exact day as this speech that year, President Barrack Obama connected his speech closely to Martin’s, both in the importance of unification and very similar in language and structure. Our president takes us to the past, telling us that freedom was closer of being taken rather than given. He uses logos to reinforce this idea by referring back to the American Revolution reminding us that the patriots did not fight for revenge, but for the freedom of our nation. Freedom that we would keep safe entrusting every single generation with it. Just as King had done many years before on his speech, President Obama shoots us back into the present. He lists off our country’s feats, starting each achievement of society by “together, we” to stress that it was a collaborative effort of many minds, giving the audience a sense of pride and awareness of the greatness that comes out of unity.

The President begins his next point, starting his next paragraph with “but” , bringing out a change in tone and dropping in the central argument, or message, into perspective. Using deductive reasoning, Obama explains more plainly than before that America can’t function under a single person, but work as a single unit as “American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world” and “ No single person can train all the… teachers we’ll need…” but “… now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people.” At this point if you don’t sense a feeling of unity in the depths of your brain then you are Helen Keller and I...

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