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Rhetorical Analysis on The Text of Obama's Inaugural Speech - Essay Example

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Rhetorical Analysis on The Text of Obama's Inaugural Speech

The speech feels like the fresh morning dew that soothes our doubting soul as we traverse the scorching heat and difficulty of a financial crisis. The speech intended to lift us from our debilitating skepticism about ourselves and our world to believe once more in the enduring spirit that made America “the prosperous, most powerful nation on earth”. It is a speech where all the three rhetorical concepts of pathos, ethos and logos were astutely utilized not only to deliver a message, but also to touch and affect its audience. To underscore further President Obama’s message of hope, he used pathos or emotion as a primary medium for him to get his message across and for the audience to relate to him. It is very noticeable in that inaugural address, that the word “I” was sparingly used and was only mentioned twice. First, it was only mentioned in the opening statement which was in the context of humility that he is grateful of the trust that was bestowed upon him and “mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors”.  The second time that President Obama mentioned it was in a collective context involving the audience by saying “today I say to you that the challenges we face are real”. ...
He was inviting sympathy without even asking by subliminally hinting that he, a black man, suffered too just like many of the audiences yet the opportunity of America enabled him to rise above his circumstances and now bestowed a position of great honor. Subconsciously, he was playing an underdog while calling for America to rise above the challenge, to unite and to once more take the challenge of leadership. In a way, he was subconsciously saying that if he was able to be where he is right now when before blacks cannot be even served at a local restaurant, then the rest of America can also overcome the challenges that they are facing like he did. President Obama’s used of emotional appeal or pathos is reinforced by his own credibility or ethos. As a political leader, he is known as a man of integrity and has never involved in any compromising political situation. His life, his background, and his deportment is worthy of emulation such that when he said what he said, he is believable. He is not known to manipulate the truth nor have slanted circumstances to serve a political end which makes people skeptical. His message is also grounded on stressing the importance of integrity as he mentioned “but those values upon which our success depends — honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths”. When one speaks and stresses the importance the value of credibility and integrity in overcoming difficulty, these values also ...Show more

Summary

Going through the transcript of President Obama’s Inaugural Speech, I cannot help but be moved by the inspiring words enunciated by a President who ascended to power during America’s financial crisis. The inaugural speech is likened to a battle march as he recalls how our forebears met their challenges when this country was still in its infancy…
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Rhetorical Analysis Essay on The Text of Obamas Inaugural Speech essay example
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