A Rhetorical Analysis Of Ronald Reagan's Challenger Address

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Analysis of Ronald Reagan’s Challenger Address Ronald Regan gave his Challenger Address on January 28, 1986 in place of his State of the Union Address. His plans for the speech were morphed into that which was presented in response to the tragedy of the Challenger shuttle’s explosion and subsequent deaths of seven astronauts, witnessed by the American public both in person and via live broadcast. Given that this great loss happened the day of the speech, it was composed quickly and concisely to acknowledge the mourning of the American people and their concerns regarding the continuation of the space program. During his speech, Regan praises the progress and sacrifices made by the Amercian space program and the astronauts in the Challenger. By doing so, he …show more content…

Firstly, he ensures the audience is able to relate to him as a person, thus establishing further ethos, by mentioning his wife and their own sorrow regarding the day's events. This choice builds the foundation of credibility from which he speaks for the remainder of the speech. Secondly, he makes use of an advantageous organization within his speech wherein he names those who lost their lives in the accident to create pathos and illustrate how he mourns with the American people and the families of those lost, rebuilds confidence in the space program by listing accomplishments and calling to patriotism to garner support for its continuation, and concludes with a story of human progress and perseverance followed with a final, impactful send off for the lost astronauts. Within this organization, the language choices he makes also add to the weight of his statements. For instance, in the final acknowledgement of the lost astronauts, his divisive language in the statement “slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God” has long been seen as one of the most powerful statements in a presidential

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