Analysis of John F Kennedy’s Inagural Address
Inaugural addresses are extremely important and usually set the tone for how a president will be in office. It is the first speech that the new President delivers as being President in the office. Around the world people tune in to watch American presidents present their speech and listen to their presidential goals. John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, gave one of the most famous and quoted inaugural addresses. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy began his term of presidency for the United States of America on January 20th 1961.
During this time America was fairly happy and peaceful. American citizens were excited to have a young president and were hopeful for the future (McAdams). However, communism was stirring up, especially in Russia and Americans were nervous and frightened. They feared that communism was going to be a direct threat to our American democracy (McAdams). President John F. Kennedy delivered a memorable inaugural address through sentence structure, diction and content to prove to American’s that he would protect his country from communism.
With confidence and pride he impacted Americans with his hopeful persona. During his speech John F. Kennedy delivered powerful declarations enabling Americans to trust him. He also requested for citizens to work together proving that together, as a nation, American’s would live together in a peaceful country. John F. Kennedy presented his inaugural address on the Capitols West Front immediately after taking the presidential oath of office. Hundreds of Americans stood in front of John F. Kennedy at the capitol, while even more people watched on their televisions and listened in on the radio (Simkin).
Many people were looking up to the President because the cold war was occurring during this time and communism was a huge issue. John F. Kennedy delivered his inaugural address to people listening all over the world. He had a hopeful persona through his address that enlightened Americans and brought them trust. He provided hope for the nation when he said, “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty” (Kennedy).
His sentence structure through out this statement allowed him to keep his hopeful persona like when he said, “bear any burden”, “meet any hardship” and “support any friend. ” These short promises made him sound believable and people could trust him. John F. Kennedy’s sentence structure by using short promises and the use of “any” made him seem ready to take on anything that came at him. Also his repetition of “any” enforced his power because it made him seem confident and ready to begin his job as president.
His confidence resulted in his hopeful persona for the country, allowing citizens to put their trust into him to take over in office. John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech was the fourth shortest address but it was filled with numerous powerful declarations (Chew). He refers to malevolent dictators of the past saying, “those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside” (Kennedy). John F. Kennedy also later said, “To assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty” (Kennedy). He used diction in his speech to make powerful declarations to the audience.
He used metaphorical expressions that were impacting which resulting in some of his best appeals made to the audience. These declarations were powerful because talking about dictators in the past visibly shows his intentions of becoming a present figure on the international level. That metaphor also caught people’s attention because he called out the dictators, stating what they did wrong as leaders. This was powerful to citizens because he proved that he was knowledgeable about being a leader and he would not make the same mistakes as previous leaders.
The use of diction with his second metaphor was also a powerful declaration because John F. Kennedy used this metaphor as an oath to southern nations for a goal of liberation. He used figurative language to direct this quote towards the southern nations and made his goal clear the he wanted to bring them liberation. With this metaphor it is also apparent that John F. Kennedy believes the injustices of the past will not be repeated freely. The use of his diction kept the audience entertained and it also impacted them because the metaphors were powerful and direct. Not only did John F.
Kennedy make a pledge to the southern nations, but through out his speech he also reached out to all of America. John F. Kennedy was focused on bringing America together as one and made that evident during his campaign and inaugural address. During this speech is when he spoke his famous words, “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” (Kennedy). These words resulted in one of the most quoted statements made during an inaugural address, not to mention one of the most famous quotes ever made by an American president (Chew).
John F. Kennedy used content in this statement to appeal to his audience. Here he asks Americans to draw upon themselves and take responsibility. If they want something to get done, they should not just look at the government; instead take the initiative to solve the problem. This content strikes as influential because he is requesting that Americans get involved with their country. John F. Kennedy is declaring that he will not be able to fight off communism alone. Nor will the government be able to fight off communism entirely.
It will take every citizen to work together in order to beat communism and save America’s democracy. John F. Kennedy is encouraging citizens to take some pride in being an American and help out the nation so they can improve America and make it be the best country it can be. America was an idyllic country when John F. Kennedy swore into office, it was peaceful and people were excited about their new young president. However people were concerned of the cold war and communism (Simkin. John F. Kennedy did not want his fellow Americans to be worried; he wanted to bring them together as one so everyone felt safe (McAdams).
On the twentieth of January in 1961, John F. Kennedy delivered one of the most famous inaugural addresses (Simkin). He used sentence structure, diction and content to prove to American’s that he would protect his country from communism. With confidence and pride he impacted Americans with his hopeful persona. During his speech John F. Kennedy delivered powerful declarations enabling Americans to trust him. He also requested for citizens to work together proving that together, as a nation, American’s would live together in a peaceful country.
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