Rhetorical Analysis Essay

1573 words - 7 pages

The purpose of Roosevelt’s speech was to encourage the American people to push for the removal of corruption in big business, politics, and the media through peaceful means and to preach for middle class progressive reform. Around the time of Theodore Roosevelt’s speech in 1906 public interest was aroused by investigative journalists who published truthful reports about political corruption, industrial monopolies, and fraudulent business practices in the hopes of trying to spark reform. The problem was that during this time period a majority of these articles were written with intentionally false information meant to trick readers or were written using exaggerated facts meant to sell more articles this was known as yellow journalism. Roosevelt believed as president it was his duty to be the moral compass for his nation. Roosevelt was vehemently against this corruption but at the same time was for the honest reporting of this corruption. Roosevelt was trying to end this corruption and in order to do that he needed the American people to pressure the government into action and to pressure the media to report investigative articles while also being honest.
Roosevelt begins his speech by giving details of Bunyan’s ”Pilgrim’s Progress” which goes from line one to nine. The reason for starting the speech with details is that the Man with the Muck Rake is a character from “Pilgrims Progress” which is used by Roosevelt thought his speech as an analogy for how he feels about investigative journalism. These details are vital to allow for those who are not aware of the book’s character to get Roosevelt’s reference and analogy.
As soon as Roosevelt finishes giving his details about the Man with the Muck Rake he makes the analogy comparing muckraking to investigative journalism in lines 13 through 22 the connection is done through the repetition of the word “evil”. In the second paragraph Roosevelt talks about the muckraker and in this paragraph Roosevelt mentions the word “evil”. In the third paragraph Roosevelt does not mention the muckraker at all but he does mentions investigative journalists and there attack on corruption. In this paragraph Roosevelt repeats the word “evil” in almost every sentence. This repetition connects the muckraker to investigative journalists in a way that allows Roosevelt to not state the connection directly. The reason Roosevelt does not just state the muckraker is an analogy for investigative reporters is because people tend to accept new ideas when they came up with themselves and tend to be more resistant to ideas they are told are true. The repetition of the word “evil” draws attention to the similarities between muckraking and investigative journalism so that you may decide to use muckraking as an analogy by yourself.
The reason for this analogy is that the story of the muckraker is easier for the general public to understand the story of the muckraker than the concept of investigative journalism and Roosevelt’s views...

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