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Speech Analysis: Ronald Reagan, "Tear down this wall"

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Isabela Lutfalla

on 24 February 2015

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Transcript of Speech Analysis: Ronald Reagan, "Tear down this wall"

Speech Analysis: Ronald Reagan, "Tear down this wall"
Background information
Some other highlights
[9] and [10]
Invites Gorbachev to peace talks
USA held very strict policy that said the US wouldn't deal with communist rulers.
Why was the speech successful:
Reagan was a very good speaker because as an actor he knew how to attract peoples attention and keep them concentrated
Why was the speech successful: Language
Why was the speech successful: Literary Techniques
Regan's use of language literary techniques and tone were aspects that highly influenced the impact of the speech on the audience. Through out the speech he engaged with the audience through concepts of hope and freedom.
Ronald Reagan
1981 - 1989 was the president of USA
Before he was a film and television actor
He is known for his avuncular style
After WW2 Berlin was divided into West (USA) and East (communist)
1961 the Berlin wall was erected
1989 East German government allowed free travel from East to West
1990 the wall was pulled down forever
The Speech
Said on June 12, 1987
With about 45,000 people were in attendance
Commemorating the 750th anniversary of Berlin
Reagan challenged Gorbachev to "tear it down".
Persuasive speaker

Emphasis's on hope constructing his persuasive tone
Hope is used to inspire people

[1] and [2]
Use of German
Reagan mixes in German phrases: shows the people that he does feel and respects their culture and language
People emphasizes with him when he speaks German.

Relates to spectators
By giving confidence to those in the East and showing how he wants to help them
Pronouns "I" and "you"

"Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon
a scar.

1. A mark left on the skin after a surface injury or wound has healed.
2. A lingering sign of damage or injury, either mental or physical: a nightmare, anxiety, and other enduring scars of wartime experiences."
Use of asyndethic listing through the speech.

Hyphen creates dramatic pause, empowering the meaning of the words.

[7] "Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor."

short sentence
build up
emphasis in 'freedom'
Rhetorical Questions
[8]"Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet State? Or are they toke gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it?"[8]
Reagan's direct speech with Gorbachev
Concluding Remarks
Short sentences creates build up
Reagan's confidence and optimism is maintained until the last sentence
Repetition hyperbolises the meaning of his words, "cannot withstand"
wall is concrete, freedom truth and faith are abstract concepts; concrete is physically stronger however metaphorically weaker, paradox.

By: Isabela Lutfalla
Full transcript