A rhetorical analysis of President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Speech
Johnson F. Kennedy was selected in 1935 as the 35th president of the United State. At the start of the first speech, he used logos by saying that he wanted to see the “The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe, the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but the hand of God”. By the use of parallelism he stated that “we observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom, symbolizing an end as well as a beginning, signifying renewal as well as change”.
He used rhetorical devices names as parallelism and claimed that “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty”. For making his speech more effective, he continually used rhetorical devices throughout the speech.
By the use of Chiasmus rhetorical device he spokes that “To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required–not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right.If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”
By adding the pathos he explained that “To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support–to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective–to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak–and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.” He parallelly used the Rhetorical Devices as pathos as stated that “Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.
We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.” “In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty.
Now the trumpet summons us again–not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need–not as a call to battle, though embattled we are– but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation -a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself” was delivered with the use of ethos which makes the statements of the speech more attractive and effective.