Ronald Reagan Speech Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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One minute and thirteen seconds. The last entry on the flight transcript: LOSS OF ALL DATA. On January 28, 1986, the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded 73 seconds into its flight. Aboard were five astronauts, one of whom, Christa McAuliffe, was ready to become the first school teacher in space. Sadly, none of the five survived. Later that night President Ronald Reagan came on air to give the State of the Union address and talk on the tragedy that had just unfolded. Through this speech President Reagan consoles the families of those who lost their lives, the American schoolchildren, and the American public as a whole. He also gives this speech to reassure America of the viability of the NASA program and the light in the future. By the use of rhetorical skill, including analogy, strong emotional appeals, and his position of power, President Reagan manages to convince America that despite the tragedy the benefits of keeping a space exploration program greatly outweigh the losses. The first rhetorical skill that Reagan uses is ethos. In the very first sentence he implies his status and authority by stating, “I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans.” By showing us his power as President of the United States (the…show more content…
His inclusion of analogies and emotional appeals, combined with his strong sense of authority, brings his arguments into focus and gives them a punch. His power in delivering this speech quite possibly kept America looking towards the stars and propelled them into the next age of space exploration. President Reagan’s speech serves as a touching conclusion to a tragic event. Despite the terrible catastrophe, Reagan’s four-minute speech provided closure on the one-minute tragedy whose impact will be felt for
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