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Rhetorical Analysis: The Challenger

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During the 1980s, space exploration was a popular topic to watch, listen to, and learn about in American life. NASA had already sent a lot of missions to space, all reaching new milestones and increasing interest in space exploration. The Challenger, however, had a different mission than the rest. It was going to carry the first teacher, Christa McAuliffe, into space where she would teach two lessons. There were six other men and women on board the Challenger. At this time, space exploration was at its peak and all of America was following the space program. Throughout the day, most of the televisions in the nation were tuned to the Challenger launch. One minute and twelve seconds into the launch, the space shuttle exploded. Such a traumatic…show more content…
Diction is the style of speaking, writing, or word choice. The accent, inflection, intonation, and speech-sound quality manifested by an individual speaker can also be diction (“The Definition of Diction”). His tone throughout the entire piece is solemn and mournful, to reflects the losses. He also has a more quiet delivery to pay homage to the lives of the Challenger victims. For example, he begins his speech with, “Today is a day for mourning and remembering… [we] are pained to the core by the tragedy.” At many other points in the speech, he discusses this “national loss.” This use of wording unifies Americans through this tragedy. By addressing and saying that he is hurt by it as well, he lets America know just how impactful this event was. Reagan uses diction to appeal to people’s emotions or pathos throughout his…show more content…
He shows empathy in many aspects of his demeanor. The first and most noticeable sign of empathy in his speech was when he said, "Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger." He addresses not only himself, but his wife also, in an attempt to bring the speech on a more personal basis. This personal connection shows the deeper impact of this tragedy. When Reagan addresses the magnitude of the issue, and how many people were affected, he also shows that there is a path to recovery. As he continues to address the loss faced by the nation, he also discusses how America will “continue to follow [the Challenger astronauts] into the future,” showing the American people that they will move forward from this
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