rhetorical analysis on barack obama

rhetorical analysis on barack obama - Hayes 1 Ryan Hayes...

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Hayes 1 Ryan Hayes Mrs. Morrison Eng 111 EB 3 October 2008 The King of Pathos Do you like tomatoes? Well, let’s just say that I have seen them many times. I remember being on my soap box, trying to speak to everyone about a topic. I would be so nervous, sweating a great deal. As a result, I came in last place in many competitions. The award for coming in last was a nice big tomato, which was thrown at me. Unlike me, a man that has been successful at speaking in public would be Barack Obama. His rhetoric can influence the minds of many people. Barack Obama, who spoke about race on March 18, 2008, does a fantastic job in drawing in his audience. To begin with, the first thing Obama said in his speech may have surprised viewers. He started off with a quote, which expressed unity. Obama said, “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union” (Obama). It was fascinating to start off with an issue that divides people with a quote that depicts the United States being together as one. The quote Obama used made people watching feel good about their country. From this positive energy, he sets himself up later on in the speech. Obama clearly lets people know what he thinks America’s mission is: to form the best possible democracy that we can offer. Later on, he talked about a group of men that came together and signed the declaration of independence in order to form a democracy (Obama). Unlike what one would expect, he used words and phrases that make this event more exciting, like “America’s improbable experiment” and “statesmen and patriots who traveled across an ocean to escape the tyranny and persecution…” (Obama). This wording makes the declaration of independence seem more precious. Not only that, but he informed the listeners on what exactly freedom is and what freedom really requires.
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Hayes 2 Once the listeners are glorified for the sacrifice our country has made, he uses that building block to express the issue of the topic. Obama explained that the declaration was signed but it was not finished (Obama). “Our sin of slavery”, on the next line, answered the question of why the declaration was spoiled (Obama). Slavery was a common custom at the time, so he is not implying that they made a bad choice. Now looking back, it was an issue that caused a great deal of trouble for the future, and it still does today. Although slavery was abolished, racism is still a major problem in our society. Obama then stated that the constitution promises liberty, justice, and a perfected union (Obama). This interpretation of the past shows how pathos is used effectively in order to have an audience feel for what African
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This note was uploaded on 09/20/2011 for the course ENG 111 taught by Professor Patterson during the Fall '07 term at Miami University.

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rhetorical analysis on barack obama - Hayes 1 Ryan Hayes...

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