Rhetorical Analysis of President Obama's Inauguration Speech

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On January 20, 2009, President Obama was officially inaugurated and sworn in as the forty-fourth president of the United States of America. The tradition of being inaugurated requires the president to give a speech about the goals they want to reach during their presidency. The president must make a speech that appeals to the audience while being professional. Rhetoric is a useful strategy to utilize in speech making. Obama uses rhetoric to achieve presenting his message of creating hope and change together in America while fixing the economic and social challenges and issues left behind from the previous president. Barack Obama uses syntax, the rhetorical triangle, and diction to portray his message. One prominent rhetorical syntax …show more content…
Obama’s use of parallelism brings the speech together and implies a sense of power and instruction. A second rhetorical syntax strategy used by Obama is his use of phrases similar to “not only, but also”. Obama uses this strategy to show that there is more than one outcome to each of his propositions. One example is when he says “...not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth” (Barack Obama's Inaugural Address 2). Barack Obama is telling the audience that we need to take multiple steps in order to grow as a nation. When Obama says “The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity”, he is again showing how more than one cause is and will be responsible for an outcome (Barack Obama's Inaugural Address 2). When Obama tells the nation about these causes and effects, the audience is given direct orders to try and make the causes possible. Obama also uses the strategy of allusions. At the very end of Obama's speech, he alludes to a quotation from the father of our nation, George Washington. The quotation talks about how “that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]” (Barack Obama's Inaugural Address 4). The quotation means that no matter how tough times are, the
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