Rhetorical Analysis Of Jfk Inaugural Address

Decent Essays

One of the most influential presidents in United States history, John F. Kennedy was a brilliant politician and public speaker. In his inaugural address, he sparked hope around the world by discussing the hardships faced by all of society in the present time and then leaving them with a message of freedom, power, and hope. This measure of impact is not achieved easily; Kennedy masterfully utilized the art of rhetoric to emphasize his message and win the hearts of his people. In the middle of the speech, he discusses the dangers of the modern world and his drive toward international peace and cooperation. These messages are stressed through his use of charismatic language to signify his vision of a new and better world.
As he begins his …show more content…

He develops this further throughout his next few paragraphs, beginning them all with the words “let both sides,” addressing not only his nation but also those who oppose him, letting them know that they must make the same effort if they wish for peace. Throughout these statements, he uses diction to create contrast in ideas, telling both sides to focus more on what “unites us” rather than what “divide[s] us” (15). His next statement employs logos to express the need for a clear restriction of nuclear arms, followed by the repetition of the word “absolute” in his press to bring “absolute power” under “absolute control” (16). Next he utilizes ethos in addressing the curious, pioneer spirit of human society, naming several examples of future scientific innovations such as “[exploring] the stars” and “[eradicating] disease” (17) to inspire a sense of eagerness to shift human research’s concentration from violence to civilizational accomplishment. He ends this discussion with an allusion to the Bible, an appeal to the faith of a majority of his listeners, and reciting a quote that is relevant to all, regardless of faith: “‘undo the heavy burdens . . . [and] let the oppressed go free’” (18), another encouragement to contribute to a more moral society.
To conclude his call to

Get Access