Rhetorical Analysis Of Pearl Harbor Speech

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Speech Rhetorical Analysis Former Commander in Chief and President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in his speech, “Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation,” discloses the details of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt’s purpose is to notify the nation about Japan’s aggressive naval actions and to petition Congress to declare war on Japan. He adopts a somber yet patriotic and confident tone in order to rally the citizens and members of Congress behind his proposal for war. Roosevelt launches his speech by announcing the alarmingly tragic events of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In his opening line, he declares that December 7th, 1941 will be “a date which will live in infamy” (Roosevelt para. 2). Roosevelt uses the word “infamy” in order to present the severity of the invasion and the corresponding decision at hand. This single word conveys a serious tone which helps the audience grasp how momentous and pivotal the attack on Pearl Harbor is and will likely be. Furthermore, it allows the congressmen to understand the gravity of the attack on Pearl Harbor so that they are able to make an informed decision about his subsequent request to declare war. Roosevelt continues his speech by describing the nature and circumstances of the Japanese invasions. First, he claims that America was “suddenly” and “deliberately” attacked (para. 2). This informative diction works to convince the audience that the attack on Pearl Harbor was not by chance or by a rash
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