First Inaugural Address Rhetorical Analysis

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Roosevelt’s Use of Rhetorical Devices Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his “First Inaugural Address” on March 4, 1933 after he had been elected into office. Because he became president during the Great Depression, the speech focused on his plans to improve the state of America and claimed that the country could escape its economic crisis. Eight years later, on December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the United States’ military base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The following day, Roosevelt delivered his famous “Day of Infamy” speech, which claimed that America needed to declare war on Japan. By using ethos, parallelism, and logos, Roosevelt does a more effective job of supporting his claim in “Day of Infamy” than in his “First Inaugural Address”. In the…show more content…
In “Day of Infamy”, he says, “It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago” (Roosevelt 1). Logically, one can tell that due to this fact, the Japanese clearly meant to attack the United States and that a declaration of war would be warranted. In the same speech, Roosevelt says, “The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves” (Roosevelt 1). This quote makes the listener feel there is no denying that America should go to war with Japan. Furthermore, in “Day of Infamy”, Roosevelt states, “Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger” (Roosevelt 2), again making the listener believe that war is the only way to keep the United States safe from future attacks. In his “First Inaugural Address”, Roosevelt says, “Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen…” (Roosevelt 1). He states exactly what has happened to the American economy without providing his opinion, effectively using logos. However, this does not help to support his claim that the country is able to escape the
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