Stylistic Analysis of Obama’s Inaugural Speech

1786 Words Mar 7th, 2013 8 Pages
Stylistic Analysis of Obama’s Inaugural Speech
Abstract
Higher level English learners always pay attention to English public speech, especially those inaugural speeches. They take them as fine literary efforts and good analysis material. This paper tries to give an analysis of Obama’s inaugural speech from stylistic perspective, in order to help to better appreciate Obama’s presentation skills.

Keywords: stylistics, syntactic, lexics, rhetoric

Barack Hussein Obama was elected to be the forty-fourth president of America in November, 2008. His inaugural speech didn’t have very beautiful words, but it set up from people psychology and gave a general conclusion of present world. Therefore, his speech won many people’s support and trust
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The data shows that Obama prefer to use short and long sentences in his inaugural speech. Short sentence can not only make his speech more vivid and exciting, but also make his expression more powerful. Meanwhile, long sentence can express ideas more clearly. Thus in Obama’s alternate use of the short and long sentence make his inaugural speech sounds neither too single nor too rigmarole.
B. The use of imperative sentence and interrogative sentence In Obama’s inaugural speech, most sentences are declarative sentences. but imperative sentences and interrogative sentences are also widely used here. For example:
“…let us ask ourselves —if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?” Imperative sentences are used to make requests or call for action. They are direct and powerful. Interrogative sentences always make people think and resonate with the speaker. The vivid usage of such sentences made Obama’s inaugural speech more incited.

3. Rhetorical level For any style of text, it’s very important to beautify the language and the use of rhetorical devices is one of the most effective way to do this. For public speech, strong infection and agitation are necessary and
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