Parallel Structure Of Fdr Inaugural Address

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An Analysis of FDR’s First Inaugural Address The thirty-second president of the United States—Franklin Delano Roosevelt—was inaugurated on March 4, 1933. At the time, the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression—one of the greatest crises in American history. Roosevelt’s confidence in the face of adversity helped him to beat Herbert Hoover by 7 million votes (“FDR biography,” n.d.). He carried this confidence into his inaugural speech and into his presidency, creating various New Deal policies and programs and reviving the people’s confidence in the economy. FDR used his inaugural speech to set the tone for his presidency—America was exchanging a more hesitant president for a strong and sure leader whose confidence would reassure …show more content…

The parallel structure acts to emphasize the ideas Roosevelt presents during the speech. When Roosevelt discusses the state of the nation, he includes the quote, “Values have shrunk to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen.” By using the same basic sentence structure throughout, Roosevelt clearly lists some of the problems the United States is facing during the Great Depression. The simple structure repeated works to emphasize and help the people to focus on his message. By showing the people that he knows and understands their problems, Roosevelt uses the repetition of a straightforward sentence structure to draw attention to the message, not a politician’s fancy prose. This is reassuring to the everyday citizens most affected by this crisis—straightforward words from a straightforward president. He continues to identify with the people and emphasize his message as he says “Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, and on unselfish performance…” With morale at an all-time low and questions about the future abounding, Roosevelt knows the people are unsure and need encouragement—he reassures the people that he understands their position. The parallel structure in this sentence—the repetition of the word “on” followed by a noun—emphasizes what the nation needs. …show more content…

He compares the wilting of dying leaves to the decline of the development of American industries during the Great Depression. This decline was both impacted by the general drop in the economy and impacted the state of the economy. With the deterioration of manufacturing, the economy suffered—much like a plant’s leaves will suffer without water. Roosevelt uses this analogy to show the people that he saw and understood what was happening in the country, which is a large step in solving the problem. Roosevelt compares the stockbrokers that contributed to the market crash and depression to rulers in the quote “…rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure and have abdicated.” This quote paints the brokers in a negative light. The brokers controlled the market—like a king would control territory—and caused a disaster through their ignorance and greed and have since given up their control, or abdicated the throne. This comparison places the blame on stockbrokers—not the American people—and reassures the people that Roosevelt supports them, rather than the people who caused this disaster. He

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