Rhetorical Strategies of Jfk's Inaugaral

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The Inaugural John F. Kennedy graduated from Harvard, and in 1940 began a career of defending his country in the U.S. Navy. Three years later Kennedy's boat was attacked by a Japanese ship and destroyed. Although suffering serious wounds in the attack the brave young man was able to lead the other surviving members of his outfit to safety. In 1960 he attained the position as presidential candidate. Millions of American citizens watched Kennedy's debates against Republican candidate Richard M. Nixon that election year. Kennedy proved victorious and become the nation's first Roman Catholic president with just a small margin in the popular vote. His motivational inaugural speech with the historic comment "Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country." Was the beginning of Kennedy's promise of making the United States once again a productive nation. Innovative plans to jump start the country's economy and ground breaking civil rights where soon being produced from the young president. While the speech’s respectful eloquence is appropriate for the occasion of an inauguration, its youthful energy and look to the future make it distinctly John F. Kennedy’s. He uses many rhetorical strategies to inspire, motivate, bring out respect, astonishment, and hope from his wide American audience. Kennedy had just won a long hard fought campaign, yet chose not to focus on the policies that helped him win specifically. The goals he states strongly appeal to ethos, by making connections with the everyday American citizen. He personalizes his speech in looking forward to the future while using the past as an example. Kennedy is smart to do so, one can only go forward but to be successful we must learn from the past. He states “We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom-signifying renewal as well as change.” Being

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