Analysis Of George W. Bush's 9/11 Speech To Congress

961 words - 4 pages

On September 11th, 2001, Islamic terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City, and the Pentagon building in Washington D.C. The terrorists, affiliated with Al Qaeda, were led by Osama bin Laden. On September 20th, nine days after the attack on the country, President George W. Bush addressed Congress with an impromptu State of the Union address. In this oration, Bush uses excessive amounts of pathos, which, when combined with multiple anaphoras and an urgently imperative tone, creates a product that reaches out to the American people as a whole in a call for not only remembrance, but action.

With America still reeling from the demolition of the Twin Towers, George W. Bush presented his information in a well-organized style that was punctuated with questions and answers. This served to give the President a more conversational tone, and made the tense audience much more relaxed. Many of the congressmen, indeed, much of the American people, had the same questions that Bush brought forward, and they clung to his every word in the hopes of shedding light upon the mystery of 9/11. The questions were well chosen, as they allowed the President to steer the speech in a direction that would justify immediate action, as apposed to a more reserved, cautious approach.

Bush incriminated bin Laden and his cohorts of Al-Qaeda, and gave some statistics about the fatalities of the act of terrorism. These numbers had a dual purpose. The first, and most obvious, was the simple dissemination of information to the American public. The other, which would help Bush himself, was to evoke feelings of sympathy, sorrow, and most importantly horror in the common man. Once the average citizen was won over, usually using pathos, it would be a simple task for Bush to win over Congress.

One of the President's main applications of pathos was the way he employed individuals' names. For instance, he spoke of a passenger that help to rush the terrorists on the plane that crashed in Somerset County, a man named Todd Beamer. Using these names helps to personify the sorrow that the nation was feeling, Bush was able to focus these feelings into an energy which he could, and did, use. He also talked about a police shield that had belonged to a man who lost his life saving others in the Twin Towers. He said that he received the shield from the man's mom, which also helps to personify each individual family's loss. Another great use of pathos is Bush's reference to children of different countries. Children conjure up thoughts of innocence, which is well used in his quote: "We will not forget South Korean children gathering to pray outside our embassy in Seoul, or the prayers of sympathy offered at a mosque in Cairo." Not only is...

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