Analysis of Obama's Speech

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Rhetorical Analysis: “A More Perfect Union” Responding to the controversy raised by Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s former pastor and campaign participant, Senator Barack Obama delivered a speech, “A More Perfect Union” on March 18, 2008. Reverend Wright was criticized by the public because of his criticism of the American government’s policies in the Middle East. He holds an extreme view toward racial issue by asserting the poor black man “live in a culture controlled by rich white people” (Wright), and “[the United States] government lied about their belief that all men were created equal”(Wright). This divisive allegation was enlarged by the media and aroused many listeners’ doubts about Obama’s political association with Rev. Wright, who, being close to him, threatened Obama’s pursuit of the presidency. Focusing on the point to form a more perfect union in his campaign, Obama confronts the sustaining racial issue. He demonstrates his capability to be the president of America by using effective and persuasive rhetorical devices throughout the speech. The multiple tones Obama uses show his perspectives toward the racial issue and arouse the audience’s acknowledgement of the exigency and necessity of the issue. Directly revealing the main purpose of his speech in the opening sentence: “‘We the people, in order to form a perfect union [,]’” (Obama 647), Obama says straightforwardly to the audience the obligation to build this nation belongs not only to himself or the people owning more power, but also to the rest of American citizens, all the people who concern about their country. Speaking to the American public, Obama speaks to white people and black people in different sections of his text and shows his comprehension of both sides. He expresses the understanding of a “lack of economic opportunity among black men”
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