Essay about Rhetorical Analysis

Submitted By skullkrusher66
Words: 1969
Pages: 8

Trevor Clemente

Professor DeFrance

English 1

16 April 2014

We are Masters of Our Fate

In British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s speech “We are Masters of Our Fate,” Churchill traveled by sea to America, through German submarine-infested waters, to address the United States Congress in order to help materialize a strategic battle plan after the Pearl Harbor attack carried out by Japan. Churchill gave this speech on December 26, 1941, in the midst of World War II. At this point in the war, The United Kingdom had already declared war against Germany and the Axis. Churchill’s timing was impeccable in gaining another ally by making his speech right after Japan had bombed the United States’ Pearl Harbor. Churchill utilizes pathos to capture the emotions of the American people, uses strong ethos presence, and plays strongly on word choice to ensure a strong bond between the United States and Britain entering into World War II. Parallelism, expletive, and metaphor are also devices that Churchill uses throughout his speech to Congress. Through these devices, Churchill delivers an extremely powerful speech that fully captures his main audience in the U.S. Congress and creates a strong, successful ally between Britain and America. The speech is also successful to his secondary audience, being that of the American citizens, and also that of the British citizens. Opening the speech by appealing to Americans, Churchill sidelines any potential criticism or negativity from his audience right from the start. Churchill uses strong ethos to set himself on the same level with Congress and his American audience by stating that he is, too, American by virtue of his mother. Churchill states, “By the way, I cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American and my mother British, instead of the other way round, I might have got here on my own.” By using this tactic, Churchill successfully makes himself a person that can be easily related to and helps his words stick to his audience more effectively, simply because now there is a similarity between Churchill and America. As Churchill continues on in the opening of the speech, he continues in stating facts about his own life that add to his credibility. “I am a child of the House of Commons. I was brought up in my father's house to believe in democracy,” he continues. The way in which Churchill sets up his audience before he gets to his main topic is classic. He butters up Congress before stating his case, and by doing so, instills a trust from the audience that opens the door for the remainder of his speech. His audience is now captured and in agreement with his person, therefore, Churchill can move on to the rest of his speech that contains the reasons in which he traveled to the United States in the first place: to create a battle alliance against the Axis. Throughout the rest of the speech, Churchill relies heavily on drawing emotions out of Congress by playing on the member’s emotions and by using long, complex sentences to describe the enemy he seeks to have America join forces to fight against. “But here in Washington, in these memorable days, I have found an Olympian fortitude which, far from being based upon complacency, is only the mask of an inflexible purpose and the proof of a sure and well-grounded confidence in the final outcome,” states Churchill, making a comparison that would make Americans feel powerful, strong, and proud emotions, while alluding to being able to feel this way, simply from physically being in Washington. Churchill uses more than enough pathos in his whole speech and it only serves to benefit the final outcome he was searching for. By successfully relating to the emotions of Congress and Americans, the task in receiving an ally in the United States becomes nearly effortless. By making Americans feel good about themselves in a time of despair and war, they become more inclined to side with Churchill and the United