Analysis of Rhetorical Strategies Used by John F. Kennedy in His Inaugural Speech

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Published: Sep 1, 2020

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Words: 469|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Sep 1, 2020

Analysis Of Rhetorical Strategies Used By John F. Kennedy In His Inaugural Speech
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In summary, John F. Kennedy's 1961 inaugural speech aimed to unite both Americans and the global community, using various rhetorical strategies effectively.
Repetition was a key strategy to emphasize his call for peace. Phrases like "Let both sides" and "to those" connected with a broader audience, underlining his commitment to international cooperation.
Pathos appealed to Americans' loyalty and compassion, emphasizing unity in facing common challenges. This emotional connection aimed to change perspectives toward other nations.
Direct address reinforced his point, acknowledging the ambitious task of achieving global peace but encouraging citizens to start the journey together.

Table of contents

  1. Prompt Examples for the "JFK Steel Speech Rhetorical Analysis" Essays
  2. JFK Steel Speech Rhetorical Analysis Essay
  3. Works Cited

Prompt Examples for the "JFK Steel Speech Rhetorical Analysis" Essays

  • Exploring Rhetorical Strategies
    Analyze the use of rhetorical strategies such as repetition, pathos, and direct address in John F. Kennedy's steel speech and how they contribute to the effectiveness of his message.
  • The Power of Repetition
    Examine the instances of repetition in JFK's speech and discuss their significance in reinforcing his central message of unity and responsibility.
  • Pathos and Emotional Appeal
    Analyze the emotional impact of JFK's speech on the audience and its role in conveying his call for global responsibility.
  • The Art of Direct Address
    Analyze how JFK's direct address to the audience strengthens his call to action and responsibility.
  • JFK's Vision for a Unified World
    Discuss how Kennedy's speech aims to unite not only Americans but all citizens of the world in pursuit of common goals.

JFK Steel Speech Rhetorical Analysis Essay

John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States of America. He served for 2 years and on the day of his inauguration, he gave an inaugural speech in Washington D.C. In this speech, he used many rhetorical strategies to get his point, a peaceful setting through all nations, across. He used rhetorical strategies such as repetition, pathos, and direct address to present his case to the audience.

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With the use of repetition, its ability is to make the audience truly think about what JFK is asking of America. He uses this strategy throughout his speech especially at the beginning of his sentences. To emphasize his point of peacefulness he begins his sentences with, “Let both sides”. He says this so that it’s related to everyone and not just the Americans. He also uses repetition of “to those” in an address to the other nations that America is willing to help.

He uses pathos in his speech to connect with his audience. He uses this rhetorical analysis to make Americans feel emotional and supportive of the surrounding nations. To connect to emotions he says, “To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided there is little we can do — for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder”. By saying this he is connecting America and its resources to better the nations that most need it. Promising them loyalty and friendship at the most desperate times. With the use of pathos in his speech, he was able to make the Americans view the surrounding nations in a different view.

Kennedy also directly addresses the audience to further convey his point. JFK uses this rhetorical strategy as an understanding that his ambition of, peace for all, will, “not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin” By directing this to his audience it settles JFK’s validity that he has. He understands that what he is asking for is a utopia, which is almost impossible to ask for. But by saying that he understands it won’t happen overnight it makes the citizens trust and have faith in that his intention of peace will happen one day.

In conclusion, with the use of rhetorical strategies, Kennedy was able to connect the audience to his inaugural speech. By the use of repetition, pathos, and direct address he was able to convey the citizen’s mind that peace and solidarity aren’t in far reach if we all come together and contribute just enough that is needed.

John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural speech was given on January 20th, 1961. He addressed the natives of the United States, however to the whole world. Unmistakably his principal objective was to bring together the whole human race and to improve the world a spot for everybody. John F. Kennedy was approaching all Americans to be the distinction, to stand firm, to roll out the improvement, and to do what is ethically right. There was an incredible reference to our nation being the first to rebel against the desire of avaricious men, and that we are the beneficiaries of that upheaval with the obligation to maintain and carry essential human rights to every person over the globe. His incredible utilization of rationale and amazing feelings utilized all through the discourse brought this feeling of obligation, contended his source of inspiration, and enabled his words to be very viable in the unification of the residents of the United States and the remainder of the world together.

Ideal world is the world that rings a bell in the wake of perusing President Kennedy’s introduction discourse. In his source of inspiration, he demonstrated that his organization would be the start of progress for the advancement of humankind and should forge ahead. He states to ‘Let the word go forward from this time and spot, to companion and enemy the same, that the light has been passed to another age of Americans–conceived in this century, tempered by war, taught by a hard and severe harmony, pleased with our old legacy and reluctant to observe or allow the moderate fixing of those human rights to which this country has consistently been submitted, and to which we are submitted today at home and around the globe’ (1961). We as Americans put stock in freedom and equity for all individuals; we are for the most part relatives of the fighters who battled in the progressive war to stand joined in maintaining such standards. Having this equivalent foundation, President Kennedy carries more to the unification of the residents of the United States. As expressed already, Kennedy further carries an association with the group of spectators through a community call to obligation, which is coordinated to everybody. He states to the group of spectators and the world to ‘Ask not what your nation can accomplish for you–approach what you can accomplish for your nation’ (1961). Despite the fact that this is a colossal duty to the individuals of the United States, he makes the affirmation this is conceivable if every native advances the push to have any kind of effect. Through the exertion of a whole country joined, the United States will have the option to improve the world.

Notwithstanding joining the natives of the United States as a solitary substance, President Kennedy at that point keeps on joining mankind as a solitary element also. For instance, he made the reference to partners whom we share comparable qualities and social beginnings, our sister nations, just as the United Nations, from which he makes a promise to a wide range of social orders far and wide that we will guarantee that all humankind will be given equivalent human rights. He keeps on building up his subject of unification by references to objectives and societies basic to which we share with nations all through the world. Therefore, he viably joined all people all throughout the world as one. All through his discourse, transport of shared foundations and ethics are utilized to join the residents of the United States and the remainder of the world to achieve similar objectives that additionally join us together.

Kennedy at that point keeps on joining the world by expressing that regardless of whether we disregard our comparable foundations, we as Americans share a center arrangement of qualities, of ethics, of morals also. President Kennedy utilizes these qualities, these moral and good interests in his discourse to join the nation considerably further. He expresses that ‘Now the trumpet brings us once more not as a call to remain battle ready, however arms we need–not as a call to fight, however beset we are–yet a call to manage the weight of a long sundown battle, throughout each and every year, ‘celebrating in expectation, persistent in tribulation’– a battle against the shared adversaries of man: oppression, destitution, illness and war itself’ (1961). There is an obvious association made, with the president’s capacity to affect the world and the group of spectators having a similar ability to have an effect on the whole world. With this, the group of spectators can acknowledge President Kennedy’s call to obligation which at that point, continues to acknowledge his discourse as being very viable.

Kennedy was attempting to join all Americans and all people as they exist on this planet and to carry the group of spectators to his call to obligation. He utilized Americans shared foundations and their guiding principle to reinforce his call to obligation just as interface the nation as one. His source of inspiration depends on the three expository interests, ethos, emotion and logos. He has offered genuinely to the crowd with enthusiasm, expectation, and equity for all people. Kennedy utilizes the complexity of emotions, for example, pride and dread and pity, which works to pass on his source of inspiration. He at that point used these antagonistic feelings of pity felt by the group of spectators for parts of the world that have individuals living in destitution which push individuals further into his call to obligation (1961). Kennedy makes these undesirable sentiments in a fruitful endeavor to push individuals to free themselves of such feelings. At that point, interestingly, he keeps on using enthusiastic interests by inspiring pride in bringing together America and the world. He continues implementing his call to obligation through passionate intrigue. Last, yet not least, he has utilized explanation by they way he utilized American qualities and the circumstances and logical results of the upheaval in America to turning into a nation who puts stock in freedom and equity for all. His entire discourse bodes well and streams well together from point to point.

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Kennedy’s usage of poignancy, speaking to the feelings of his group of spectators is of most significance to his debut discourse, in which the central point was to bind together all Americans and the world together. He states to ‘Let us start over again recalling on the two sides that respectfulness is certainly not an indication of shortcoming, and genuineness is constantly liable to evidence. Let us never consult out of dread. Yet, let us never dread to arrange’ (1961).â Kennedy passed on himself as a man of extraordinary honesty that the group of spectators and the world had no real option except to confide in him. From my point of view, there was not a solitary sensible deception to be found in this whole discourse. Additionally, the discourse was exceptionally fruitful in associating the individuals of various foundations on the planet which puts extraordinary accentuation on his source of inspiration. Plainly he was fruitful in passing on his objective of progressing in the direction of giving the individuals of the whole world with human rights just as harmony and steadiness. We can close by expressing the way that Kennedy had an ideal vision for the world. In his end, he expresses that ‘Whether you are residents of America or natives of the world, ask of us here a similar exclusive expectations of solidarity and penance which we ask of you. With a decent soul our lone sure reward, with history the last judge of our deeds, let us go forward to lead the land we adore, asking His approval and His assistance, yet realizing that here on earth God’s work should genuinely be our own’ (1961). His source of inspiration indicated how splendid and mindful a man he is, and demonstrates in actuality that we should all assume liability for making the world in which all are allowed life, freedom, and opportunity.

Works Cited

  1. ampbell, R., & Jamieson, K. H. (1990). Deeds Done in Words: Presidential Rhetoric and the Genres of Governance. University of Chicago Press.
  2. Coleman, D. (2003). The Rhetoric of American Exceptionalism: Critical Essays. McFarland.
  3. Griffin, C. L. (2009). A First Look at Communication Theory. McGraw-Hill Education.
  4. Kennedy, J. F. (1961). Inaugural Address. Retrieved from
  5. Kennedy, J. F. (1963). A Strategy of Peace. Retrieved from
  6. Medhurst, M. J. (1989). Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Rhetoric of the Middle Way. Greenwood Press.
  7. Pfau, M., & Parry-Giles, S. J. (2010). Rhetoric and Communication Perspectives on Domestic Terrorism: Counterterrorism Policy and Presidential Leadership. Lexington Books.
  8. Simons, H. W. (2002). Persuasion in Society. SAGE Publications.
  9. Smith, C. (1991). Rhetoric and Human Consciousness: A History. Allyn & Bacon.
  10. Zarefsky, D. (2009). Public Speaking: Strategies for Success. Pearson.
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Analysis Of Rhetorical Strategies Used By John F. Kennedy In His Inaugural Speech. (2022, April 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
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