Rhetorical Analysis Of The Space Shuttle Challenger Tragedy

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In his speech titled “The Space Shuttle Challenger Tragedy: Address”, President Ronald Reagan addressed the United States after a tragedy was publicly broadcasted. Earlier that day, a space shuttle called Challenger exploded during takeoff, killing all seven of the crew members aboard. As a result of the public broadcast, many Americans, including schoolchildren, witness the horrific tragedy. Following the tragedy, Reagan gave a speech with the goal to comfort the nation through the difficult time. In his speech, Reagan offered his condolences and tried to reassure Americans that the space program is still a fruitful venture. To achieve this, Reagan cultivated a confident tone, appealed to pathos and ethos, and used rhetorical devices, such as allusion and anaphora. …show more content…

Then, he acknowledges that the space shuttle explosion was not just a tragedy but a national tragedy by stating “this is truly a national loss” (American Rhetoric). His opening lines called for national mourning and grief. Reagan talks about his pain over the event and gets personal by mentioning his wife’s grief. Reagan continues, offering his condolences directly to the family of the seven astronauts by stating “your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, ‘Give me a challenge, and I’ll meet it with joy’” (American Rhetoric). In this quote, Reagan uses anaphora when describing the qualities of the astronauts. The repetition of the phrase “that special” highlights the amount of respect Reagan had for the astronauts aboard the

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