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Rhetorical Analysis

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Rhetorical Analysis
The speech by George W. Bush after 9/11 uses pathos, logos and ethos to speak to a terror-stricken nation. The speaker is the President of the United States, he was speaking after the 9/11 attack that killed hundreds of people. The culture of the people was a belief in America’s safety Post-Cold War period, and the terror attack shocked the nation. The president had previously been elected to office and had assured Americans of keeping them safe. Bush later addressed the nation on the readiness of America on the Global War on Terror. He uses his position as president to give assurance, which is a perfect use of ethos as he was a former war hero. The speech is delivered in a slow tone and captures a somber mood which the country was in after the 9/11 attack which is the use of pathos. The tools of rhetoric are simple, ranging from repetition to symbolism. The speech begins with use of repetition and parallelism in the first sentence with the word “our” being used to describe the victims of the attack to advance the idea of Americanism (American Rhetoric para. 1).
In convincing his audience, Bush uses contrast to advance logos, for instance, he compares the foundations of buildings with the foundations of America. The image of steel is used to compare the strength of American values (American Rhetoric para. 2). He also uses imagery to create deep images in the mind of the listener, he descriptively states how the terror attack happened which shows care for citizens.

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The sight of flying planes and burning houses is vivid and captures the horror and image which is a good use of pathos. Further, there is the use of symbolism such as darkness and light to capture the hope that the Americans have in the future.
Further, he uses biblical allusion to relate to the wide American audience which chiefly consists of believers. In encouraging people to stay strong and hold on in the face of despair, he refers them to Psalm 23 (American Rhetoric para. 6). The Biblical allusion being drawn from a common verse creates emotional connectivity. There is also use of contrast to compare the bad events and America’s position. The President also uses logos to explain the actions his government is taking during the crisis. In concluding his speech he reiterates on the aspects of nationhood which clinches the three aspects of rhetoric as the nation looks up to him for moral direction, and strength.
Work Cited
American Rhetoric. “George W. Bush – Address to the Nation on 9-11-01 – The Rhetoric of 9/11.” American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States, www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/gwbush911addresstothenation.htm.

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