Presidency of John F. Kennedy Essay Example


Presidency is not a walk in the park. These men have to govern millions of people, who hate, love, and sometimes want to kill them. Although John F Kennedy was corrupted with family flaws and unfaithfulness, during his inaugural speech the first day being president, he gained the support and trust of the American people. He was a charismatic leader who related to the citizens. During his speech he uses immense rhetorical devices to captivate the audience. Many historians all have the same dream for the country to achieve greatness and to ignite the fire inside people to stand up for change, and  never stop for just ok. As Gordon B Hinkley states, “Mediocrity will never do. You are capable of something better.” As he puts this powerful quote into simple words the point is given and taken from the world. John F Kennedy in his speech is saying the exact same thing. He wanted to inspire the country to unite and bring peace though the states. Sadly John F Kennedy did not live to see his last day of presidency, but from his many memorable speeches, and biggest if all his inaugural speech, he appeals to the United States sense of ethos, pathos, and logos, with rhetorical devices that engulfed the audience's mind with imagery, power, and the will for action and greatness. 

When speaking, their is no point when the crowd/adience thinks they are incompetent, so every speaker apeals to the audiecnes sense of ethos to lure them into a bond of trust with the speaker. JFK was a man of credibility, he used powerful allusions about faith to inform America who he was and what he believed in  as a person: giving the audience assurance. At the very beginning of his speech he intrigues the audience by saying“...the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.” Through this allusion John F Kennedy has the civilians under his wing. Alluding to the Bible is used in many speeches to show credibility. If the audience has something in common with the speaker, they are more likely to trust them. Although President Kennedy is not just stating a verse from the Bible he is showing how much he believes in God. He is telling the audience that giving everybody rights is not a maybe, it is a need because it’s what God intended for the world. He is slyly trying to tell people to trust in him, if they trust in God. President Kennedy did not gain the trust of the country just by saying God, but he also uses parallelism and meticulously places important words to appeal to the audience's sense of ethos. He starts the list with, ”Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease…” he connects himself to the audience. As shown President Kennedy uses the word “together” to cue the audience to feel that he is going to help the country  along the way, and he is coming with the country, not just leaving them in the dust, gaining trust and support from the nation. This is a subtle ethos statement but it is important. John F Kennedy was big on coming together as a nation and building from the ground up so he said, “together let us explore the stars,” showing the country that he is not going to give up on America. He will be their every step of the way to guide and lead them. 

As many speakers know, emotions and stories engage the audience to get a sense of knowing the speaker, such as their feelings and their intentions. John F Kennedy throughout his speech appeals to the country's sense of pathos so many times differently, citizens of the United States get a feel of everything President Kennedy is going to do and how he will impact the country. With an inspiring quote that not only alludes to an aesop fable in a metaphor most children have read, but also gives the audience a sense of need and gets their emotions riled up and firing. John F Kennedy quotes, “our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support,” and bring forth the strength of unity and peace(JFK 2). As the fable the tortoise and the hare goes, the hare is way ahead of the tortoise in the race but decides to take a nap, allowing the tortoise to surpass the hare and win. This quote shows that even though our country may not be in the lead as of today, President Kennedy is going to slowly move the country closer and closer to the finish line- if the country with his help along the way can come together and strengthen the unity. This is showing how powerful peace is and how important it will be if the country wants to continue to rise and become one. Power is not always a bad thing, in this case power is risen from the strength of everybody coming together and accepting the country and ones who live there for who they truly are. As emotions are already rising and surfacing into inner thoughts of how the audience will create action, President Kennedy once again hits the audience with a quote that opens the audience’s mind into remembering the loved ones that have been lost. He states, “The graces of young Americans who answered the call of service surround the globe,” then he goes on to say it's not the next generation's time to shine and bring forth peace. It's time to fight in a different way, not with violence but with unity and love. The appeal of people's emotions with stories and strong quotes are intensely important because it allows the audience to give the speaker sympathy and feel with them- it helps connect the speaker and listener. 

Lastly there is logos, the appeal to people's sense of logic, what is logically correct and taught throughout history. Appealing to logos ties the speaker's message to something learned from the past. This persuades the audience to get a sense of what is correct- what is expected. John F Kennedy alluded to the Bible once more but instead this makes the audience feel the need to follow through with an action- because an important prophet a long long time ago wanted the exact same thing. John F Kennedy relates to Isaiah goals which persuades the audience when saying, “Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah—to "undo the heavy burdens ...and to let the oppressed go free””(Inaugural Speech 2). Now its not an opinion of President Kennedy, it's a telling from Isaiah of what is needed. The Bible to some people is their life, they look for signs of God, and read every word in that book, so John F Kennedy alludes to logical reasoning of why the country needs to “let oppressed go free” and allow everybody freedom. This uplifts the country and  gives the nation a strong need to follow John F Kennedy and allow him to do what he believes, because a famous person once had the same dream.

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