Comm 270 Leech

Comm 270 Leech - Ryley Leech Scheer Associational Clusters...

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Ryley Leech Scheer Associational Clusters in The War Message This essay is a rhetorical form analysis of Woodrow Wilson’s War Message that he delivered to Congress on April 2, 1917, using the method of cluster analysis. By examining the associational clusters in Wilson’s speech, we will be able to understand the rhetor’s implied or explicit strategies. Associational clusters are comprised of terms and ideas that assemble, modify one another and coordinate the perception of the audience and express the relationships provided by the speaker. Before we separate and analyze the associational cluster in the War Message , the exigence must be portrayed. The United States adopted at neutral position in August of 1914, just a month after the official start of the European conflict. By February of 1915 German submarines were threatening the safety of American civilians in the Atlantic. In May of 1915, German U-boats sank the British passenger ship, the Lusitania, killing 128 American men women and children. During this time, Wilson stood in steadfast opposition of American involvement in the conflict and attempted to persuade Germany to discontinue assaults on passenger ships, however this request was denied. After his re-election in 1916, Wilson shifted the United States position to armed neutrality to counter Germany’s declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare. After a handful of American casualties, Wilson was forced to drop the unsuccessful armed neutrality and prepared to address Congress with a War Message .
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The first set of associational clusters involves both the identification of an evil power and marks the end of the armed neutrality. “Vessels of all kinds have been ruthlessly sent to the bottom
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Comm 270 Leech - Ryley Leech Scheer Associational Clusters...

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