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Rhetorical Analysis: JFK

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by

Ashly Medina

on 14 December 2016

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Transcript of Rhetorical Analysis: JFK

Speaker
President John F. Kennedy
Subject
The sudden hike in steel prices (3.5%) during the period of economic distress following the most recent recession.

Audience
The nation's largest steel companies
The people of the United States
Context & Bias
Context
: April 11, 1962; the country is recovering from the recent recession and a news conference is held to discuss the sudden rise in steel prices

Bias
: Kennedy is biased towards lowering the steel prices.
Appeals
Ethos
: Kennedy establishes his credibility by bringing up statistics (lines 58-61) and other information that was given to him by trusted sources such as Secretary of Defense, Robert, McNamara and the Acting Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (lines 33-35, 58-61, 88-90, etc.). He is also credible because he is the president of the US and that's the people the country chose to trust as their leader.

Pathos
: Kennedy sounds concerned and upset when he talks about the problem's the steel prices would cause. He wants to invoke a certain reaction from his audience by describing the several reasons why the increase in steel prices will affect everyone.

Logos
: Kennedy utilizes data and statistics in order to appeal to logic and reason (Lines 16-21, 55-61, 71-74, etc.). By doing so he hopes to convince both the people of the United States and the steel companies about the downfalls of inflating the price of steel.
Rhetorical Analysis: John F. Kennedy
Tone & Shift
Modes
Rhetorical Devices
Assertion/Theme/Main Idea
Claims to support Assertions
The greed of large corporations has led to economic unrest, as they increase their prices they handicap the efforts of the country and its citizens to fix the many issues that have arisen in the past few years.
1. No justification for the increase in prices"
2. Would increase the cost of steel, homes, autos,etc. (thus damaging consumerism)
3. Would make it more difficult to compete with foreign markets, thus disturbing trade)
4. Would handicap the efforts to prevent an inflationary spiral from using government money
Diction
: Kennedy uses Colloquial Diction to allow his diverse audience a better understanding of the urgency of the matter. He lowers his diction thus making it easier for his audience to comprehend him.
Allusion
: JFK utilizes allusion at the end of his speech referring back to his inaugural speech (Lines 107-110).
Alliteration
: Kennedy utilizes alliteration in order to draw attention to his statement regarding the steel executives "pursuit of private power" and how it overshadows their duty to the public (Lines 17-19)
Parallelism/Repetition
: Kennedy repeats certain words and phrases throughout his speech which creates a certain rhythm and helps support his claim by repeating it and making it clearer (Lines 6-21, "We are confronted... we are devoting... we are asking..." etc.)
The tone of this speech is concerned and as JFK continues on, it shifts to a resentful tone to express a clear digust towards the greed of the Steel Companies.
Cause/Effect: JFK utilizes cause and effect to demonstrate the possible aftermath of the increased prices in steel to stir a necessary reaction from the public. He wanted to bring awareness to the selfish actions of the steel companies in such desperate times.
Argumentation:Kennedy utilizes argumentation to support his claim regarding the unnecessary rise in steel prices
Full transcript