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Infamy has proven to be a befitting choice of words as the tragic Pearl Harbor incident is still remembered and memorialized today as the turning point of World War II. In an effort to sway fellow congressman to officially declare war on Japan and to gain the support of the American citizens, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt effectively appeals to his audience’s ethos, pathos, and logos in his address to the nation. He also utilizes a theme of infamy in order to emphasize the impact of the event of Pearl Harbor.
The issue at hand was whether or not America should join the war as the rest of the world already had. At the time America had been reluctant to enter another war as they desired to leave World War I far behind them and remain isolationist. However, President Roosevelt believed it was well over due for the United States to stake their claim in the war. As president, he wass also the “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy” so when it comes to combative reasoning he’s no novice. Convincing congress to jump into war became an easy task because of Pearl Harbor and his techniques of enticing word usage and demonstration of moral convictions. He maintains an assertive and also confident tone throughout his speech.
In addition to his own credibility, the previous president chooses to use a repetitive variety of the “Japanese forces” in a list of Japan’s recent attacks. He does so in order to ensure the nation and congress that Pearl Harbor was committed by Japan as an entire country. These facts dictate that it was not just any small renegade fleet from Japan, it was the “Empire of Japan” the “Japanese Government”, and “the Japanese”. His diction helps correlate the tone of the speech.
Consequently during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech, emotions of anger, remorse, and betrayal are evoked from himself to the audience. He uses vivid and emotional words to bring on such feelings. To foreshadow the tone of the speech he uses “infamy” to describe and capture the event. In addition, he describes the attacks as “sudden and deliberately planned” and a form of treachery” to remind America who the enemy is and to arouse the nation’s retaliation in confidence and strength. He also believes that said retaliation will lead to “inevitable triumph” and “absolute victory” in order to raise the shaken moral of the people.
n confidence, President Franklin Roosevelt does not directly address the opposing side. He does make it clear that “hostilities exist” to those who may doubt. His evidence of the threat of Japan is the antagonizing country’s previous assaults and betrayal. It becomes irrefutable that there is threat against the homeland of America.
Notably, and without error, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was able to promote confidence into the nation within a few minutes. The mastery of rhetoric in his speech has a lasting impact to match with the infamy of Pearl Harbor.
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