Sylvanus Thhayer Speech Analysis

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Sylvanus Thayer Award Acceptance Address by General Douglas MacArthur “Duty, Honor, Country”(“American Rhetoric: General Douglas MacArthur -- Sylvanus Thayer Award Address”). Those three words are ones recited by General Douglas MacArthur time and time again in his acceptance address for the Sylvanus Thayer Award. General MacArthur was a decorated war hero, serving in the army for most of his life; however, he was relieved of duties by President Truman. The general has years of experience and is someone who one would be able to trust. After serving for so long and rising through the ranks, it’s no wonder he would be able to give such an emotional and trustworthy speech. MacArthur has served in an abundance of places such as the Philippines,…show more content…
The general is able to express his thoughts and feelings well through his thoughtful and perfectly placed words full of emotional pathos. He tells of soldiers meeting their demise unquestioning, uncomplaining, and with faith in their hearts (“American Rhetoric: General Douglas MacArthur -- Sylvanus Thayer Award Address”). Such things evoke emotions of sympathy, melancholy, and not to mention feelings of pride. MacArthur even goes as far as to say “if you lose, the nation will be destroyed” (“American Rhetoric: General Douglas MacArthur -- Sylvanus Thayer Award Address”). This brings about a flash of fear across the minds of both soldiers and soldiers-to-be alike. Still, it also serves to embed courage into the young men and women who have chosen to give themselves to their country. The general is a meticulous man who picks his words in a careful manner in order to provide those that listen to him with a reason to listen to him. After having been through all that he has had to endure and fight through, MacArthur is aware of how his words can affect people on an emotional plane. He states loudly for all the cadets in the room to hear “yours is the profession of arms” to motivate the audience and give a prideful boost to their ego (“American Rhetoric: General Douglas MacArthur -- Sylvanus…show more content…
The general’s developed speech and vocabulary give him air of intelligence that in turn gives the reader, or listener, a reason to trust and listen to his words. His vocabulary is broad and filled with words many grown adults may not even know the denotation or connotation of. One may not know what a pedant, demagogue, or a cynic is, but over the top words like these keep things interesting for the ones listening to the speech. They aren’t just any run-of-the-mill type of words that one would hear everyday in a normal conversation, but instead they make one think and process them a little bit more. Since General MacArthur’s vocabulary was as wide as it was, it makes him stand out more as an intelligent, wiser person. If his speech was less developed it might’ve made him less trustworthy and could’ve made him seem less intelligent than the retired Army general actually was. A general is not an easy rank to obtain, since even becoming an officer is something only smart and organized individuals can do. WIthout smarts, there would’ve been no way General MacArthur would’ve been able to advance to the highest rank possible in the Army. Although, this is to be expected of someone who excelled at West Point and graduated with honors ("Douglas MacArthur." Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 28 Apr. 2017. Web. 18 May 2017.). The

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