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"Tear down this wall"

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by

Alexis Cox

on 25 November 2014

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Transcript of "Tear down this wall"

Ronald Reagan and
the Berlin Wall
This video clip features Ronald Reagan himself live at the Brandenburg Gate delivering his famous speech regarding the taking down of the Berlin Wall in Berlin, Germany.

Techniques


Effects of Speech
"Tear down this wall"
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan, the 40th president, took office on January 20, 1981. As a president, Reagan was very popular and was actively influential on the economical growth of America. President Reagan's foreign policy sought to achieve "peace through strength" and improve relations with the Soviet Union. Reagan's presidency overall restored prosperity and set the goal of peace through strength in grasps.
This famous speech stressed the United States' intolerance to the communism that still existed in Germany while Reagan was delivering this speech. Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, former General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , as well as East and West Germany began to commiserate as both communism and the Berlin Wall fell.
Berlin Wall
In August 1961, the Berlin Wall was built by Communists to prevent Germans from escaping East Berlin into the Democratic West Berlin. The Berlin Wall stretched over 100 miles of a 12 foot concrete wall. The wall included electric fences, barbed wire, and guard posts all manned by the East Berlin Communists. This speech calls for the Soviet Union General, Gorbachev, to tear down the wall removing a political and symbolic (democracy versus communism) barrier between Germany.
Tear Down This Wall
Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guard towers. Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same--still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state. Yet it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.
-pauses
-speaks german
-imagery
Ronald Reagan uses several literary devices, as well as both writing and speaking techniques in this famous speech in order to successfully get his point across to the audience.
Metaphor
Parallelism
"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate!"
The use of parallelism by President Ronald Reagan emphasizes the want and struggle for peace with the destruction of the Berlin Wall. Parallelism also helps by supplying a multitude of pro-reasons for the destruction of the wall.
Rhetorical question
"And what better way to demonstrate to the world the openness of the city than to offer in some future year to hold the Olympic games here in Berlin, East and West?"
Reagan uses rhetorical questions, and this one specifically, to demonstrate what a great, beautiful city Berlin would be without the wall and with peace. It emphasizes the importance of East and West Berlin's reunion.
repetition
"Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor."
Reagan's use of repetition here aids in emphasizing the strength of freedom, or the destruction of the wall which would free the Germans in East Berlin from communist rule. As Ronald Reagan mentions, the freedom would provide the city with prosperity, comity, and peace. Freedom is the only winning option.
by Alexis Cox & Anna Besowshek
By Reagan using this metaphor, he allows the audience to feel unified together as one nation who is forced to all view this national flaw in their nation's history.
The president referring to the dividing wall as a "scar" reveals the negative opinion he has on the wall, as well as that same opinion that he believes all Berliners should acquire
imagery
Ronald Reagan uses powerful emotional imagery to evoke mental stills in the mind of his audience while listening to his strong spoken words.

"Yet it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have been imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men."
Thank you for your attention :)
Full transcript