The Audacity Of Hope: A Rhetorical Analysis

2079 words - 8 pages

Hope, by definition means to look forward to something with reasonable desire and confidence. Hope also means a person or thing in which expectations are centered. When discussing the word hope, one must consider the core values by which the word works around. You could hope for financial success, world peace, or simply hope for some good out of your day. In 2006, Barack Obama wrote the political biography The Audacity of Hope to outline his core political and spiritual beliefs, as well as his opinions on different aspects of American culture. The Illinois senator divided the book into nine chapters, each concentrating on both his own and the United States’ successes and failures in local and state politics. While revealing great leadership attributes, life experiences, personal qualities and hard facts, largely in anecdotal method, Barack Obama offers realistic, wide and thoughtful responses to today’s current domestic controversies using artistic appeals, such as ethos, pathos and logos. Senator Obama also gives the audience an in-depth analysis of the key policies that need to be changed for both Democrats and Republicans, and delivers an inherent message to offer hope to anyone, regardless of background or experiences. In the prologue, he discusses in great detail virtually every major political issue facing the American electorate today, offering his opinions and possible strategies for reform. “My motivation in entering politics was to cut through decades of polarizing partisanship and develop a moderate, effective approach to our government.” (Barackopedia.org). Obama notes that this same impulse, an impulse of a secure, functional and sustainable administration, prompted him to write The Audacity of Hope.
During the course of my readings, I realized how effective of a writer Barack Obama really is, and how the presentation of this autobiography shows that much of his persuasion is based on his own personal ethics. Senator Obama is a Christian whose religious views developed in his adult life. He wrote in The Audacity of Hope that he "was not raised in a religious household"(241). Obama explained how, through working with black churches as a community organizer while in his twenties, he came to understand "the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change." With this in mind, I believe chapters 6 and 7 are perfect examples of ethos in this novel, describing racial heritage, racial equality, and faith. In chapter 6, Obama attacks the issue of religious faith, mainly focusing on roots and influence of the Democrats growing uneasiness with the displays of religious faith. Because this is such a controversial topic, I must say, I was a little skeptical as to how he would present his arguments, to a group of readers with such a variety of opinions. I was intrigued when Obama recounted his own journey from atheism to faith, contending that the structure of religion has invigorated and expanded his moral beliefs....

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