Barack Obama Speech Rhetorical Devices

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Obama Speech On March 18, 2008, former United States president Barack Obama made a statement to clarify the meaning and the truth behind the statements made by his pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright. During this time in America, many people felt racism was very much alive in society and hoped that voting for a black president would be a major step to resolving this ongoing problem. Yet the reverends comments seem to prove to people across the country that racism was not only still existing, but that the possibly elected African American president was a racist. Using plain folk, Barack Obama was able to educate people on the truth of his views by making Americans very engaged through incorporation of known events into his ideas, making people…show more content…
His main theme of this speech was to show people that in order to make America the greatest nation in the world, we must not focus on distractions that the nation may face and we must unite as one to improve and push towards perfection. His first example of plain folk comes very early in the speech when he reflects to when the main goal of all Americans in the spring of 1787 was the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He reflects and relates to demonstrate a time where America had to come together and agree on one idea, in this case, when Americans, “...escaped tyranny and persecution [to] finally make their declaration of independence…”. This is an example of plain folk because it is a piece of history all American students are taught and many US citizens consider the groundwork for our nation; therefore it is very engaging. This is very relatable to the theme as it shows a time where many people felt a problem with Britain 's rule, and instead of blaming others, we took control and we were able to persevere and reach our goal. This was really a time where Americans showed their power and ability to change, and that is why it is included in…show more content…
This is used to tell Americans that they can do the same thing if they really put their minds to it and decide to forget about all the little distractions that they use as an excuse. The last major use of plain folk in Obama’s speech comes towards the end when he puts forth an idea that is easily agreeable for most to all political parties and US citizens. With the line, “...a candidacy as imperfect as my own.”, we see Obama relate the sense of imperfection that both him and all the nation acquire, whether democrat or republican. This plain folk allows for parties to become united on an idea that no one can really argue against. It relates to the theme because it identifies that even though people are imperfect, our nation can still reach perfection, just like Obama’s candidacy. With the distraction of politics in America, people choose to make excuses rather than reach a main goal, such as ending racism, that everyone would appreciate. With Barack Obama’s speech, he basically tells people that although he doesn’t agree with what his pastor said, he believes in the end of political distraction and in the termination of all racism and racist ideas across the United States. Change is inevitable, progress is optional;
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