John F. Kennedy Essay

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John F. Kennedy



John F. Kennedy was one of the greatest presidents of the twentieth century. He united almost the entire nation under a common goal; the Moon. His charisma could turn skeptics into believers, and strengthen the bond between himself and his supporters. He had so much charisma because he used many rhetorical devices in his speeches, the same rhetorical devices that have been wooing crowds of people since the time of Rome. One of his most memorable speeches he gave was at Rice University in 1962. In order to rally the support of the space program by the average United States citizen, Kennedy employs rhetorical devices, rhetorical appeals, and argument structure.

Kennedy uses many rhetorical devices in his speech. A
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He quotes George Mallory before he makes this statement, so that the audience knows what he means. Kennedy also uses parallelism in order to add emphasis to his speech. A relevant example of this is in his sentence; “… create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers.” (Kennedy, 1962, p.1). Kennedy uses imagery in order to show the difficulties with space travel. His statement; “The accuracy of that shot is comparable to firing a missile from Cape Canaveral and dropping it in this stadium between the 40-yard lines.”(Kennedy, 1962, p. 3). This statement gives the audience a visual image of the difficulty involved in space navigation. They are standing in the football stadium, so it is easy to visualize the target area of twenty yards, and compare that to the distance from Cape Canaveral in Florida, to the stadium in Houston, Texas.

Kennedy also uses Pathos, Ethos, and Logos in order to appeal to the crowd, and the average US citizen sitting at home. Kennedy says that “Technical schools such as Rice will reap the harvest of these gains.” (Kennedy, 1962, p.3). By saying this, Kennedy is trying to rationalize the space-program by appealing to the emotions of the college students (Pathos). If the attendants of the college feel that the space- program will help them learn more, Kennedy gains their support for his propositions. Kennedy says; “For the eyes of the world…

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