Rhetorical Devices Essay

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The use of Rhetorical Devices in the Inaugural Address of President John F. Kennedy On January 20, 1961, after being sworn into the Presidency of the United States of America, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, also referred to as JFK, gave an extremely motivational inaugural speech. In his speech, JFK used quite a few rhetorical devices to convince his “fellow Americans” to get involved in their country and to take steps to help their country become unified not only for the good of the United States of America, but for the world. He was, in a sense asking Americans to become passionate about their country, when he stated, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” (Kennedy) or the use of the phrase, “The torch has been passed to a new to a new generation of Americans” (Kennedy) He was in some ways, sending out a challenge to his audience. This is a perfect example of rhetoric, by using the art of persuasion. He also plays on the emotions, or the pathos of the audience by stating “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” (Kennedy) At the time, it seemed the entire world was fearful of nuclear war. This may have come across to many as evoking fear into those who do not stand for what he believes Americans stand for. He also uses words such as “we” and “my fellow Americans” in an attempt to tie himself to the audience. His tone was stern, his words chosen carefully, as to not speak over the heads of the audience, but to talk with them. On can not help but notice the Boston accent. Also, another example of pathos, his stance at the podium, at times he grasped both sides and spoke clearly, other times, he held up his fist and

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