War of the Words: Analysis of Two Speeches Declaring War Given by Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Bush

Decent Essays

War of the Words: To Qualify Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Bush
On the brink of two different wars, two United States’ Presidents rose up to the challenge of calming the American people and fighting for the belief of justice. A day after devastation on December 7, 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt gives his “Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation”. At the beginning of a terrorist crisis in 2001, George W. Bush announces a “‘War on Terror’ Declaration”. Both Presidents have many similarities in common, yet their differences set them apart with uniqueness. These two speeches, separate by nearly sixty years, weave an outright and assertive tone into their diction and detail.
Within both Presidential speeches diction is used to similarly inform and alleviate …show more content…

The creation of a new governmental cabinet is a response to al Qaeda’s attack showing the power and strength Americans still posses even when defeated. In the same manner, Roosevelt and Bush justify war with reason and logic, showing an equal amount of power and superiority by sending the United States to war. Similarly, the Presidents speak of a great and righteous victory showing their confidence in the American people. The similarities in diction hint at an equal goal for both Presidents: to exhibit authority in a memorable way.
Although diction usage is similar, detail is mentioned quite differently in both speeches, resulting in different consequences. Roosevelt announces the “attack was…planned” (5) especially when recounting other countries the “Japanese attacked” (11,12) just hours before. Americans, upon hearing previous attacks, become bloodthirsty for vengeance and target the Japanese (including Japanese Americans). According to George W. Bush, prior to the attack in 2001 Qaeda had “bomb[ed] American embassies” (13), planned in their major establishment located in Afghanistan although “Afghanistan’s people have been brutalized” (18). Bush assures Americans there is no mistake with al Qaeda being the attacker, yet he equally expresses the imperative need for Americans not to prejudice or hate the Afghan people. A noticeable contrast between Presidential

Get Access