AP Lang & Comp
6 October 2015
Lasting Impact of JFK
As the symbolic leader of a proud country, US presidents use rhetoric in their everyday lives. Being the president means that they are not only the spoken voice of the people, but they begin authoritative speeches by implanting thoughts and ideas into the people’s mind- the leader must be persuasive. As for John F. Kennedy, some may argue that he had a more powerful voice and an effective impact. Kennedy was elected during a time of turmoil not only for America but the world as a whole, and in his inaugural speech he called many of the world’s leading nations to action. With the help of Eleanor Clift, and also the photo credited to the United States Army Signal Corps, we can receive a small glimpse of Kennedy’s strong leadership, when considering the conditions of the inaugural day. In Eleanor Clift's article, Inside Kennedy's Inauguration, 50 Years On, and in John F. Kennedy’s speech, change is the focus of the day; however, the writers use different rhetorical devices to evoke the feelings and emotions given off from both texts. Clift uses personal events and details while Kennedy uses abstract language, metaphors, and comparison of the past to the present.
In order to lead a country, the President must be able to persuade both the people and congress. Throughout the course of his speech, President Kennedy used several different persuasion methods to gain the trust of his people. President Kennedy’s goal was to move the crowd emotionally, not logically. As the President wanted to bring about peaceful and coexisting nations, he called upon the citizens to act as well by saying “...my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country” (Kennedy, p. 71). With Kennedy calling the people to action, it made them have a more personal connection and feel more responsible for some of the things that took place. He called to bring together not only the...