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Rhetorical Analysis Of Obama's Farewell Address

Decent Essays
President Obama, like all Presidents before him, delivered a farewell address to the United States on January 20, 2017. As he stepped down as President he was eloquent and it was as clear as ever that he is a master of oration. Obama will go down in history as the first Black President as well as a strong orator who had the ability to captivate an audience through his use of ethos, pathos and logos amongst other rhetorical devices. His farewell address is a perfect example of Obama’s mastery of discourse as it is chock full of oratorical devices. Obama’s message to the American people and to the rest of the world is that it is essential that we maintain a sense of what it means to have a democracy and that in order to maintain peace and…show more content…
He goes on to discuss the notion of democracy and the fact that when people come together they can insist that democratic ideals are essential for everyone even if we do not always agree on the same ideas. He stresses the notion that democracy is not about always getting along or agreeing but in working towards solutions that will make the world a better place for all. He suggests that democracy is not only “his belief” but that it is the “beating heart of our American idea” which is a phrase that combines both logos and pathos. By using the phrase beating heart, Obama draws on the audience’s passion for their country while at the same time establishing the notion that democracy is a reasonable idea that should be adhered to. Obama goes on to note that, “For 240 years, our nation’s call to citizenship has given work and purpose to each new generation.” By drawing on the over 200 years of democracy that exist within the US Obama established democracy as a credible approach to human organization. The crux of his speech is democracy so here he uses ethos to enhance the credibility of the democratic approach in order to ascertain that people take the concept seriously. In this way he is subtly suggesting that there is potentially a movement towards dismantling democracy through a more authoritarian rule with the new President. After this statement he goes on to cite the various achievements that were accomplished due
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