Rhetorical Devices In Jfk Inaugural Address

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Though only winning by a narrow margin, President John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech maintains an air of sophistication and confidence. An inaugural address is usually the most listened to speech throughout a president’s career. It is vital to any newly elected president that they start of their term on the right track. His speech was perhaps one of the most memorable and quoted addresses. Through his effective use of rhetoric devices, JFK instills confidence in the American people of his abilities as their new leader. Knowing people were skeptical of his young age, Kennedy uses rhetorical devices to portray a more sagacious and confident character. One tool used many times throughout his inaugural is archaic language. Kennedy starts his speech by addressing the oath and its honored place by using an …show more content…

A president, being an influential person for an entire nation must be able to relate to his audience. Kennedy demonstrates different strategies that allow his audience to identify with him as a speaker. He asks Rhetorical questions to incorporate the audience during his speech. For example, Kennedy says “Can we forge against these enemies a grand global alliance… that can assure a more fruitful life for mankind? Will you join in the historic effort?” (Lines 23-24). By asking these questions, he manipulates his audience into a sense of agreement, since it would be almost considered un-American to object to his rhetorical question. For instance, who would object a more fruitful life for mankind? The sense of unity is continued with his syntax. Some examples of amalgamated language are, “My fellow citizens” and his repeated use of “we”. These expressions engage pathos thus conveying a sense of cohesion. JFK’s sundry of sentence types each provides a different role in his inaugural speech. He begins with declarative sentences that portray a strong character of authority.

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