Vietnam Veterans Against The War Speech Rhetorical Strategies

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Passionate John Kerry, a vietnam veteran, in his speech, Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement, to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on April 23, 1971, argues that the soldiers sent to Vietnam were told to do terrible things and that they were fighting for reasons they did not even know. Kerry supports his argument by implementing anaphora, utilizing a pronoun switch, applying rhetorical questions, appeals to logos through the use of statistics, quotes, and an anecdote, and appeals to pathos through imagery and powerful language. The author’s purpose is to depict to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations exactly what occurred in Vietnam and why they should be against the war too. The author writes in a belligerent tone for the Senate …show more content…

He uses words such as “we”, “our”, and “us” when he talks about the soldiers, but then he switches to words like “they” and “their” when he talks about the forces that sent the soldiers over to Vietnam. For example, Kerry says, “We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now.” By saying this he makes himself one of the soldiers and therefore makes himself part of the group that wants to fix what happened. It shows how he is willing to talk about what happened in Vietnam when he was there and that he wants to do what is right. When he talks about the people who were in charge of sending the soldiers over to Vietnam he uses phrases like, “They’ve left the real stuff of their reputations bleaching behind them in the sun in this country…” This effectively points the blame at the people in charge, but leaves himself free of blame because he says they did it. By doing so he is allowed to be perceived as one of the good guys because he makes it seem like the authorities are to blame for everything and that the soldiers were only following

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