On the 20th of January, 2009, Barack Hussein Obama, an African American, was inaugurated as president of the United States of America. That day not only brought joy to his family but also to each and every single American citizen who supported and voted for him. On that day, he gave out a speech that impacted the lives of those American citizens. His words inspired them to decide to change and repair the breaches of their own making by becoming responsible and no longer viewing other beings depending on their exterior image.
His words brought sanity to America and allowed them to delete the words “racism”, “demolishment”, and “recklessness” from their vocabulary. Barack Obama’s accurate use and persistent reference to Asyndeton, Anaphora, Polysyndeton, Ethos, Pathos, and Logos allowed his speech to triumph over the Americans’ will to behave in a thoughtless manner in addition to impacting their perspective of the new generation. President Obama’s use of rhetorical devices increased the effectiveness of his speech.
He began his speech with an Asyndeton, a lack of conjunctions between phrases, clauses, or words, by saying, “I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you’ve bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. ” In his introductory quote, he states that he is respectful towards the Americans’ decision to inaugurate him as president, thankful for their belief in him, and aware of what past American legends have been through. Obama, as all other presidents, starts off his speech by showing how dedicated he is to his country.
This quote gives the Americans a vivid description of his personality and a good reason why they were right in their decision to choose him to run their country. He reuses Asyndeton in the fifth paragraph when he says, “Houses have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. ” In this quote, he implies that the destruction of houses, loss of careers, and decline in economical rates have all taken and are still taking place in America because of the people’s recklessness. He tries to indirectly bring the Americans to a state where they begin to feel remorseful and understanding of the consequences they have allowed themselves to face.
His use of Asyndeton sped up the rhythm of his speech and allowed him to fulfill his goal in making a single idea more memorable. The other most frequently used rhetorical device is Anaphora, which is the repetition of a sequence of words at the beginning of neighboring clauses. He began to use Anaphora in the fifth paragraph by saying, “Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.
Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many — and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet. ” In this quote, Obama tries to notify the Americans that they are causing distress to themselves and a feeling of hatred between one another. He also tries to send the message of how vigorously the economical rates are declining in America because of selfishness and immaturity. In addition, he gives out the idea of pollution, weak education, and expensive medical care.
Obama stresses on the fact that economy in America is very weak in order to show the Americans how dreadful the consequences of their careless actions are. Obama reuses Anaphora in the seventh paragraph of his speech by saying, “They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met. ” The word “they” implies to the challenges America is facing, and Obama repeats that word in order to make it clear to the spectators that their view of those challenges as simple and easy to surpass is wrong.
He claims that there are several challenges that must be thought about seriously, for they cannot be overcome effortlessly or quickly. He, however, promises the ignorant Americans that these obstacles and challenges shall be triumphed over. Obama’s use of Anaphora allowed him to gain the spectators’ attention, for the repetition of the words “our” and “they” brought a certain rhythm to the speech. That rhythm made the speech less boring and showed the audience that what Obama is trying to fulfill for them is certain.
The third rhetorical device that Obama persistently used was Polysyndeton, which is the deliberate and excessive use of conjunctions between successive phrases, words, or clauses. He began to use Polysyndeton in the eleventh paragraph by saying, “struggled and sacrificed and worked. ” Obama is referring to the hard working men and women who have had to suffer for their country and endure several obstacles. His repetition of the conjunction “and” between each word allowed him to give out the idea of toil to each and every single American citizen listening to his spectacular speech.
He reused Polysyndeton in the thirteenth paragraph by saying, “schools and colleges and universities. ” Obama here repeats the conjunction “and” in order to show that a lot of changes will take place in the future. He wants to show that the youth of America will be provided with excellent education and that they will grow up to be superior in society. Polysyndeton was used to increase the rhythm of prose, speed up the speech’s pace, and convey the solemnity of Obama’s voice. It allowed his speech to give out the purpose of his inauguration and his wish that all Americans begin a new generation maturely.
In addition to rhetorical devices, Obama managed to include Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in his speech. He used Logos by referring to America’s weak economy and costly health care. He used Ethos by degrading America for letting its economy decline to such a low rate. These two appeals were shown in the quote, “Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. ” This is an example of Logos because he states a fact, which is America’s incredibly weak economy.
It is an example of Ethos because he claims that the Americans’ recklessness, selfishness, and immaturity are the reasons for such a state. He uses Pathos by referring to his father, who had been disrespected sixty years ago, by saying, “… and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served in a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath. ” This quote is considered as Pathos because Obama touches the hearts of the Americans by showing them how inhumane the actions of some people can be.
He wants the citizens to no longer view the past as a reference and have a new perspective of life and society. His use of these three appeals allowed him to gain the Americans’ awareness of their arrogant behavior. He used Logos to give the citizens a vivid description of the reality they are living in and his opinion on the causes of the conditions they are enduring. He used Ethos in order to discredit the Americans by blaming them for causing a great deal of disruption in their country.
Finally, he used Pathos to show the Americans how ruthless and dictatorial the past had been so that they can compare their society now to the previous one. These examples of rhetorical devices, ethos, pathos, and logos showed the Americans that Obama truly has a gift in effectively pointing out his notion and that he deserves to be considered as president of the United States. He has given the Americans hope that one day their dream of a peaceful and well rounded country will be granted.
He has left them touched because of his cunning use of rhetorical devices, for they truly impact one’s interior and give out the message conveyed in a stylistic way. They gave his speech rhythm so as not to bore the audience and allowed him to express his view on America’s reckless behavior. His speech deliberately changed every hearer’s perspective of the future, for it consisted of a constantly calm and self-confident mood that brought joy to each and every single citizen in the United States of America.