Kennedys Inaugural Address Analytical Essay Example

Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Jfk Inaugural Speech

1070 WordsMar 1st, 20135 Pages

Dean Howard
Rhetorical Analysis

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, arguably one of our greater presidents in our nation’s history, was assassinated on a Friday in the early stages of winter in 1963; however, he had accomplished much more than a man with lesser courage could have in his services to our country. One of President Kennedy’s most memorable actions while in office, actually took place very early on in his presidency; his Inaugural Speech in January of 1961. When attempting to motivate our citizens, Kennedy speaks of our citizens being “tempered by war,” and “proud of our ancient heritage,” he very successfully appeals to the emotions of his audience. Furthermore, his use of ethos quite effective when he speaks of…show more content…

The author is able to draw his audience in emotionally by speaking of such countries, and how it eventually ties in to the United States, stating that “(if) a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich,” (3) concluding the connection between the U.S. and those countries who have a lower living standard.
Kennedy continues his appeal to emotion with a weaker, yet still successful attempt. Around election time, seemingly all American’s reveal their inner-patriot, understanding this Kennedy speaks to that inner patriot. Speaking of foreign affairs, he says, “…let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.”(3) This appeal is successful, as speaking of the Hemisphere as a whole represents unity, and also reaches out to the pride within the audience, stating that Americans shall remain in power of all they have worked so hard to obtain. President Kennedy makes a minimal attempt of accomplishing logos, as this was his weakest of the rhetorical appeals. As he approaches the topic of nuclear weaponry and the quest for peace, he implies that we must reach peace “…before the dark powers

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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…show more content…

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 relaxation in cold war tensions following a time of severe confrontation early in the administration.

One fundamental aspect of American philosophy in the 1960s was the belief that individuals could make a difference. The famous line, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" mirrored the belief that Americans had that they could influence their events in their country. The speech echoed in the

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