10 April 2015
Rhetorical Analysis of JFK Inauguration Speech One of the many key attributes to John F. Kennedy was his effortless and eloquent ability to give speeches. His inaugural was presented with ease and with his pleasant Bostonian accent. He provides pause at the right moment for the crowd to applaud and the speech as a whole flows very smoothly for those who hear it presented by him. Being able to see him deliver it supports his talents as a natural rhetorician. Kennedy begins his speech with a very strong ethos appeal. In his speech he says “The world is very different now,” “We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution.” He mentions the past only in the beginning of his speech, but then quickly turns it towards focusing on the future.
To advance his ethos appeal Kennedy says: 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. This much we pledge—and more. His ethos appeal is again revealed in the speech as almost a fatherly and protective voice. He is saying that the country will meet any challenge head on and do their best to overcome it while working towards what is in the best interest for the country.
Overall his speech reaches out to the hearts and minds of Americans, supporting and outlining the ways in which he intends to improve upon the already amazing country we live in. As he intends to improve our country, he also intends to protect it. One of the main burdens on Kennedy’s shoulder was the threat of nuclear attack, an issue which was on every Americans mind as he gave his speech. He first diagrams the fears of Nuclear War then advances on to the importance of mutual progress and alliances when he begins to address foreign policy. The threat of potential nuclear war was considered the largest and most prominent fear in every citizen of the country. People were not scared of the dangers of terrorists or criminals; they had one thing on their minds, nuclear war.
He addresses South America by saying: To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge- to convert our good words into good deeds- in a new alliance for progress- to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house. In the late 1950’s Castro had begun guerilla attacks on Cuba’s current regime and armed forces. It did not take long for Castro to force Batista to resign and flee the country. On January 1, 1959 Fidel Castro took power of Cuba calling himself the “President for Life”. At first the United States actually supported him, but by February that same year, Castro had already had about 550 of Batista’s associates executed. And it was not much longer until Castro established a communist government and he became the dictator, forming new