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George W. Bush's 9/11 Address to the Nation

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Tessa Chambers

on 2 December 2012

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Transcript of George W. Bush's 9/11 Address to the Nation

9/11 Address to the Nation George W. Bush "A Great People Has Been Moved to Defend a Great Nation" Tone Simple Syntax Pathos and President Bush had an important task. Instill faith and resolve in the American people after most of us witnessed the worst terrorist attack to occur in American history President Bush used these devices to accomplish this goal The president keeps a very calm and reassuring tone throughout the speech. America was in a state of panic and needed to know that everything would be okay. The President showed his resolve and the country's resolve through the tone of his speech. "But they have failed." "Our country is strong." These sentences, though short and abrupt, were very effective. The manipulation of syntax greatly influenced the effectiveness of this speech. President Bush was very particular about his word choice throughout his address. While the President used the word "I" six times, the words "our" or "we" were used 24 times. This effectively turned the focus away from himself and towards America. September 11, 2001 This fateful day will forever be imprinted on the minds of Americans President George W. Bush had an important duty to unite the people of America. The 9/11 Address to the Nation played a large part in fulfilling this duty. Biblical Allusion Propaganda The President makes the speech much more personal by asking for prayers for those affected by the attacks. Psalm 23: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me. Scripture is comforting for many people, so it added to the reassuring tone of the speech when the President alluded to the Bible with this Psalm. When President Bush refers to "a Power greater than any of us", he effectively shifts the focus away from himself and puts it on God Propaganda techniques are very prevalent in speeches, especially with an imminent war on the horizon. "Today, our nation saw evil--the very worst of human nature-- and we responded with the very best of America." This is an example of simplification. This very complex situation was simplified to "evil", a word that stirs emotion. "America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world." This quote shows the use of glittering generalities to instill passion in Americans. Americans have great pride in being "the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world." "Freedom" and "opportunity" bring about this emotional appeal. The repeated use of the words "we" and "our" result in the use of the propaganda technique of Bandwagon. President Bush is grouping all listeners against the terrorists, as is shown in the following quote. "...we stand together to win the war against terrorism." "Thank you. Good night. And God bless America." Sources http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/gwbush911addresstothenation.htm
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