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Jfk Inaugural Address Rhetorical Analysis: Key Points

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The primary source I have picked is a speech that was led by JFK, on the 20th of January 1961. The form that the speech takes place in, is a document from the 1960’s. The audience were split into 2 possible categories, the American people and the international people, who are considered to be Kennedy’s allies. With that said it was meant for the people abroad and the citizens of the country too. Kennedy was reaching to whomever possible, he tried to inspire many minds by convincing people that he was politically correct. The aspects of the 1960’s that encouraged him to send this message through was solely intended about the Cold War that took place, between the Soviet Union and the West. So, I did JFK inaugural address rhetorical analysis.

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Kennedy’s point of view was quite straightforward and simple. His speech simply implied the message to have peace and some sort of unity amongst countries, it was driven towards all of the rivalries that took place between countries, locally and internationally, and why they should not engage in these types of rivalries to even begin with. Instead, JFK’s speech was supposed to be a wake-up call to all, to make awareness. Especially for the American people, for them to realize that they have to create peace with one and other. This was supposed to be a sign of patriotism for the Americans and create more alibies between the U.S and other countries. JFK’s expertise played a big role into this as he was the youngest president to be elected ever in the U.S, with his hopeful and optimistic attitude he believed that he could persuade the general public and everyone who reads about him. The author tries to convince the audience by connecting to them on a personal level, so that the audience can try and feel more comfortable into allowing someone as honorable as JFK to take over and be the leader of the change.

“Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.” He communicated with the audience by proposing several solutions about unity and peace, reassuring that if all we do is help one and other, we are surely on the right path. Not only did JFK hold this absolute power of presidency, but he used his power to make a bold and inspiring statement about making amends with every nation. This was an inspiration to everyone who supported JFK and his empowerment. “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

The following passage I have quoted, is JFK’s proposal towards the end. JFK used his words so powerfully, and asked everyone, that even if America will do something for you or not, you have to come together and unite so that we can create peace and freedom amongst us all. This closing statement was one of the most persuading statements in his speech as he made everyone aware of how the problem will only grow bigger and bigger, with people who are simply just being ignorant. This raised an immediate red flag for the people, to wake up and realize that freedom comes from within and only the people are able to get that. JFK had touched many hearts during this speech, by differentiating between what’s really happening to what we have yet to achieve.

The most important features in his speech are from where he simply tries to connect with his audience by using powerful statements about how hostility can grow into something so disturbing, to a point where it can no longer be tolerable whatsoever. JFK’s speech made the people aware that these are the problems that are being caused if we don’t come together as a unit. The details in his speech fit perfectly together and word by word everything was well organized. His speech picked up towards the end, it was as if you can feel his gentleness and caring attitude towards his country. He had shown immense love and affection towards his country, which is what he wanted to share with everyone. He wanted patriotism, he wanted everyone to be happy with the country and the land that is now called America. Which is why he had given a speech to begin with, he wanted an ever-growing amount of patriotism, not only with the Americans but also nationwide. More importantly when Kennedy addressed this statement “Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.”Along the lines, he asks the people of the country and the people of the world in general to stop worrying about these problems that divide us. Instead of using this time and effort, to think of ways to continue this rivalry, he urges everyone to devote their time into coming up with plausible solutions and immediate actions for peace.

This source helps people understand the 1960’s in a nutshell, as a sign of action. It is purely a way of explaining that the Cold War has placed a huge worry on the country, but the only way to stop more hostility amongst nations is to be united, regardless of the problem. The audience understood this message only through JFK’s inaugural speech, as it created awareness to lots of people, to actually empathize with everyone around us. To understand the importance of the true fundamental values that America was built by, that the founding fathers have gone through many troubles to create the United States. Everyone got a sense of clarity through this important message delivered by JFK. This showed them that they have to act now or else there will never be an end. Even till this day, we must come to terms with reality and re-read JFK’s speech. JFK made it pretty clear that hostility is the only thing that can possibly divide us, but creating a possible solution is what unites us. The reason why we should care about this, is because hostility may happen at time. We are not aware of the future nor are we really aware of the present.

However, JFK’s speech taught us all that the only way we can save this country and the nation is by understanding what liberty and freedom truly is. It is the key element of the 1960’s that helped shape the upcoming years. JFK had more supporters rising from the ashes, to create changes about any problem that presents itself to them. The people have a burning desire now to create unity, which will forever stick. JFK allowed everyone to regain hope and passion, and turned everyone’s fear and anger into something positive. Allowing people from many generations to read and be inspired to make a change no matter how complicated the situation may be.   

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