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The Sinews of Peace

Short Analysis of Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain speech and the rhetorical devices used in it

Sam Miller

on 26 November 2012

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Transcript of The Sinews of Peace

spoken by Winston Churchill Analyzing "The Sinews of Peace" What was the speaker's purpose? What was going on? delivered March 5, 1946 at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri How did Churchill make his argument? The second world war was coming to a close. Germany was on the brink of defeat, and the allies had all but triumphed. The world was looking forward to the future. Winston Churchill was the prime minister of Britain at the time, and had come to the United States with words of wisdom. Churchill emphasized that he was not representing Britain during his visit; He was merely an esteemed man with a message for the people and government of America. Churchill's iconic speech was given for three main purposes: 1. To encourage America to heavily involve itself into the United Nations Organization, or USO. -He believed that only a strong, global organization could prevent further world wars. 2. The United States and Britain should continue to develop a close, permanent alliance in order for peace to continue. 3. America and its allies needed to beware of Russia and the spread of communism. -This part of Churchill's speech is considered by many to be the start of the Cold War. It's simple! (not really). He used various forms of rhetoric, including: Allusion: Churchill references the Bible in two places in his speech, primarily when seeking the cooperation of the United States. "In my father's house, there are many mansions." -John 14:2 Listing: Churchill combines parallelism and listing to spell out the necessity of peace. "...constancy of mind, persistency of purpose, and the grand simplicity of decision shall rule and guide the conduct of the English-speaking peoples in peace as they did in war." This gives Americans the sense that although Britain and the U.S. are separated by the Atlantic, they share a common faith. Personification: Winston gives human qualities to the terms "war and tyranny" in order to present them in a negative light to his audience. He called them, "the gaunt marauders" Diction: Churchill kept his audience interested in part by using a high level of diction. He spoke elegantly and fluently: where the audience could easily understand his points, and feel smart at the same time. Call to Action: Almost as a form of propaganda, Churchill demands that America press the world not to "fall below the level of achievement" of its democracy. -This persuades America to follow his words based upon the challenge Churchill presented to its people, as well as complimenting America's citizens at the same time. Climax: Churchill created several verbal climaxes in his delivery to create a an expanding presence in his speech as it went along. "...all is distorted, all is broken, all is even ground to pulp." This specific quote uses climaxes to create a vivid mental picture. Euphemism: Winston alters his language in some places to present terms in a lighter way. -He presents the United Nations' effort against the Soviet Union as "the overall strategic concept" and the state of eastern Europe as "un-united." Repetition: In order to emphasize a point, Churchill often stopped and restated the beginning of his sentences. This rhetorical strategy also catches the audience's attention. The end. By: Sam Miller Metaphor: Churchill included metaphors as a way to apply a word or phrase to a specific item. "The Sinews of Peace" only sparingly included metaphors. However, the most iconic moment of Churchill's speech was a metaphor. "...an iron curtain has descended across the Continent..." Sources:

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http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/winstonchurchillsinewsofpeace.html The world was on the brink of dividing once more, and Winston Churchill was proposing a plan to America
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