Rhetorical Analysis Of John F Kennedy's Inaugural Address

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John F. Kennedy: Orating This Oath “I do not shrink from this responsibility— I welcome it” (par. 25). John F. Kennedy expresses his courage in this excerpt of his Presidential Inaugural Address, which was a compelling speech written in a time of national crisis. Delivered on January 20th, 1961, John F. Kennedy’s speech took place during the nuclear age and Cold War era. On this day, a member of the U.S. Supreme Court held a bible as John F. Kennedy took the oath of office to become the nation’s 35th president. Fear had steadily crept into and ultimately invaded the minds of the American people as the Cold War neared its climax; they were desperate for a brave and reassuring president. With great awareness of both the current national and…show more content…
He established his ethos immediately with the same previous excerpt: “Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens, we observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom – symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning – signifying renewal, as well as change” (par. 2). Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural address, a historically established and respected president, Kennedy made sure to address that he did not want his victory to be solely a victory for the Democratic Party. Rather than boasting to the Republican Party, Kennedy looked to establish himself as a president who valued unity over partisanship. Towards the end of the speech, Kennedy proved himself a brave and valiant president when, with particular emphasis, he said, “In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it” (par. 25). Kennedy’s purpose behind this quote was to rally American spirit in a time of need. He wanted the American people to believe he was capable of leading the country to peace in an era of tension and potential danger. It was clear to the audience that Kennedy had positive intentions and morals, as well as genuine
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