Ethos And Logos In Lyndon B. Johnson's We Shall Overcome

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In the 1960s the African Americans were freed, but did they really have all the rights they were promised? Racial conflicts were everywhere. Lyndon B. Johnson was current president and was trying to encourage congress to pass a bill called The Voting Rights Act. To influence the vote he gave the speech “We Shall Overcome.” In “We Shall Overcome” President Lyndon Johnson used ethos, pathos, logos, and other rhetorical devices such as allusions, repetition and appeals to authority to persuade congress to pass the act. Ethos is when one gives credibility. President Johnson has credibility in his speech when he claims, “Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Members of the congress…” Mr. President also uses ethos when he states “ the request of your beloved speaker, and the senator from Montana, the majority leader, the Senator from Illinois, the minority leader, Mr. McCulloch, and other members of both parties, I came here tonight…” These are example of ethos by giving credibility to everyone he mentioned. Aside from ethos there is pathos. Pathos is the passion in a speech or writing. President Johnson includes pathos in his speech by his use of diction and…show more content…
Johnson uses an infinite number rhetorical devices. He uses repetition, allusions, and appeals to authority, just to name a few. An example of repetition is “There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem.” This is repetition by repeating there is no problem with these things and then that the only problem is this. An example of allusion is “But I cannot help believing that He truly understands and that He really favors the undertaking that we begin here tonight,” where “He” is an allusion to God. He also appeals to a higher authority when he said “God.” Another example of allusion would be “All men are created equal.” That is an example of allusion by referring to the Declaration of
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