Chapter 1 Introduction
1. Brief Introduction
The annual event of American presidential-elect campaign 2008 ushered in a new era in American history. The unprecedented economic crisis led by the United States left the country looking for answers as to the President for leadership in this chaotic time. Through President Barack Obama’s election speeches broadcast on television, this thesis explores rhetorical analysis in speeches, focusing primarily on Aristotle’s three appeals that Presidential speechwriters employed in President Barack Obama’s election campaign speeches.
2. Purpose and Research Questions
1.2.1 Purpose of This Research
The present thesis aims to reveal the rhetorical characteristics of Obama’s election campaign speeches using the analytical tools of Aristotle’s three appeals. The author intends to provide a practical method for catching the ethos, pathos and logos concealed in American election campaign speeches and at the same time to put forward a proposal of raising English learners’ awareness in public speaking.
So there are two purposes for the writing of this thesis.
1) This thesis is to provide a means of seeing through language, to probe into the rhetorical skills used in Obama’s election campaign speeches and to explain how language is used by powerful groups to reinforce persuasion.
2) As is known to all, both English language teaching and learning at present are merely stressing the meanings of words, sentence structures and information in given discourses. Some scholars have noticed their defects and forwarded them to semantic or even pragmatic level, but that is not enough. The author writes this thesis, hoping to help Chinese foreign language learners increase their consciousness of how language contributes to the rhetorical aspect. In the light of linguistics, teachers should not only describe language, but also help students seek their own interests and express themselves with rhetorical skills....