Juxtaposition In Kennedy's Inaugural Address

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Final Essay Throughout his inaugural address, John Fitzgerald Kennedy uses juxtaposition, anaphora, and emotional appeals (pathos) to rally the american public against nations of the world with different ideologies, namely Communism. With a leader as charismatic as Kennedy, it is inevitable that a speech of his would utilize classic rhetorical devices to further his purpose as he sets the stage for his presidency. Kennedy’s use of antithesis through juxtaposition creates the illusion that you are either apart of his ideas or against them. Kennedy tells Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” which would imply that if you are not a loyal patriot giving for the United States, than you are the problem. Chiasmus, the technical name for Kennedy’s literary device in the previous example, is often used to create the sense of opposition that is present throughout his address. Kennedy wants you to know that you can do something because “the Communist may be doing it” or you can do what “is right.” You can help “the success of liberty” or you can oppose “the hand of God.” You can stand with America and “abolish all forms of human poverty [or] all forms of human …show more content…

The word “pathos” comes from the Greek words for suffering and experiences. Kennedy, or his speechwriter, obviously knew this principle. The President-to-be makes numerous statements regarding the “solemn oath our forebears prescribed” to “almighty God.” Kennedy is quick to remind us that people have died so that we can protect liberty with him. The “heirs of that first revolution” have passed their “torch” to “a new generation of Americans.” We have been “tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace” and if we are “proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness...the slow undoing of... human rights” than we need to fight with Kennedy or risk disgracing our

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