Rhetorical Analysis of President Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor Speech

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Rhetorical Analysis of President Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor Speech

The Pearl Harbor address to the nation is probably one of the most famous speeches made throughout time. In this essay I will evaluate the rhetorical effectiveness of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's famous speech and show that his speech is a successful argument for the United States of America. I will focus on the speaker's credibility, all the different appeals made throughout the speech, as well as the purpose and the audience of the speech. Also, I will discuss whether or not there are any logical fallacies that may have weakened his speech.

President Roosevelt does a few specific things to be able to establish his credibility as a speaker.
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President Roosevelt?s speech establishes a few different examples of pathos. Pathos was the most reoccurring appeal in his speech. At the very beginning of the speech the president says, ?Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 ? a date which will live in infamy ? the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by navel and air forces of the Empire of Japan.? The fact that this day will forever be remembered by all citizens of the United States definitely appeals to people?s emotions. President Roosevelt also mentions, ?The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost.? This is an effective appeal to pathos because death affects your emotions. Thousands of people were affected by this tragic event and I?m sure it touched many people?s emotions. In the middle of the speech president Roosevelt says that Japan also attacked Malaya, Hong Kong, Guam, the Philippine Islands, Wake Island, and Midway Island. This definitely appeals to the audiences emotions, especially if anyone had family or knew someone who lived over there.

Another appeal that President Roosevelt used was ethos. When he said, ?as commander in chief of the army and navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense? this shows that since he is the commander in chief that
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