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Analysis of Barack Obama's Anti-War Speech

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Tanika Gauci

on 17 June 2015

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Transcript of Analysis of Barack Obama's Anti-War Speech

Pathos is used to help persuade an audience through their emotions.
This is done in Obama's speech when he recounts the story of his grandfather going to war as the audience become emotionally involved as they listen to the story. He began the speech with this so that he knew he had caught the audiences attention before he began to talk about the the U.S. and Iraq war.
Allusion is an indirect reference. Obama uses this technique in the second paragraph when he retells the story of his grandfather going to war. This causes the audience to become emotionally involved.
Analysis of Barack Obama's Anti-War Speech
Purpose of the speech- to persuade Americans against voting for the war against United States and Iraq.

Intended Audience- the intended audience is all Americans as Obama wants them to stand up and use their power to have a say.

Context of the Speech- The speech was delivered in Chicago on October 2nd 2002 by Barack Obama. At the time of his speech 60% of Americans voted for the war which is what influenced Obama do his speech.
Ethos is convincing someone of the credibility of the persuader.Obama uses ethos in his speech through the expression 'good afternoon. This expression establishes a connection and makes the audience feel unified with the speaker.
Rhetorical Question
Rhetorical questions are questions that are asked without wanting an answer. During the speech rhetorical verbal repetition is presented. Rhetorical questions such as “You want a fight, President Bush?” are repeated forcefully. This is done to make the audience think more carefully about what they are being told.
First person
First person is when one speaks using words such as ‘I’ and ‘me’. Obama uses first person to maintain a connection to the audience while also reinforcing his ethos.
Logos is the persuasion through reasoning and the way of convincing through logical arguments. This is shown in Obamas speech through the use of very conscious and logical selection of words and expressions.
Repetition is simply the act of repeating a word to get your point across.

What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne. What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income — to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Tone is defined as the perspective or attitude that the author adopts with regards to a specific character, place or development. In the speech Obama takes on a powerful yet inspirational tone.
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