Jfk's Speech : The Decision To Go To The Moon

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I’d say we’ve all heard of JFK’s famous speech, “The Decision To Go To The Moon,” which he gave at Rice University on May 25th, 1961 to an audience of 35,000 people. This speech is one that marks the sixties, as JFK had just been elected and was rallying the people to support the space movement. Many Americans doubted they could beat or even catch up to Russia in the space race. So, his speech focuses on convincing Americans that they should support the US government’s movement to get a man on the moon before the Soviet Union. Now you must be wondering, why do I care about this? How does this affect the way he gives his speech? Shouldn’t all speeches be equally convincing no matter what? Well, not really, but I’m glad you asked! JFK’s purpose and audience are what makes his speech, he managed to make, both, his structure and literary devices very specific to his audience! Beginning with the structure, I noticed an important detail that was very interesting. His speech began very broad; speaking of world history. In the first page of his speech, JFK says the following, “...but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man's recorded history in a time span of but a half-century.” He goes on, explaining how history would have been up to the sixties had it been summarized in a short 50 year period. Then after that, he narrows it down to America’s history and how far they’ve come. From then on, he slowly shifts the focus from past American history to present by saying, “Those

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