Ronald Reagan Speech Rhetorical Devices

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Ronald Reagan’s speech to the American people after the Challenger disaster was a message of unity, to come together as a nation and support each other. The address showed the American people that we can overcome tragedies and take them in stride as long as we are a unified nation of individuals. Reagan used many rhetorical strategies like purpose, historical allusion, and tone to highlight how America could come out of this tragedy unified and resolved to do better. The purpose of the speech is clear, it is a speech to promote solidarity among the American people in a time that could divide or heal, and to give hope for the future of the country and its people. Reagan fleshes out the topic thoroughly while constantly returning back to stating his purpose. “we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.” is just one of the purposes that appears in Reagan’s address. Reagan wanted to extend the purpose to beyond one of mourning because he believed that we cannot stop there but instead must go farther and overcome our struggles. Reagan …show more content…

The historical allusions used in his speech offer hope for the future based on the events of the past and how people them overcame them. “On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and an historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.” This allusion to Drake sums up for him why the Challenger crew are heroes to be remembered and honored, because they died for their work, and their country, expanding our frontiers. The historical allusions that Reagan used tie the past to the present and give people a reason to believe we will triumph

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