Rhetorical Analysis Of Fdr's Pearl Harbor Address

784 words - 4 pages

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed the nation at 12:30pm on December 8th, 1941, a day after the Pearl Harbor attacks, with his self-written speech informing the nation and urging Congress to formally declare war on Japan (Rosenberg). His speech ‘Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation’, more commonly known as the ‘Day of Infamy’ speech, is considered one of the most famous and well-crafted American Political speeches of the 20th century.
Franklin D. Roosevelt never gave his own opinion in his speech, but instead relied on his diction to encourage his audience, the American public and Congress, to draw to their own conclusions. He does this by using rhetorical devices such as ...view middle of the document...

Connecting with the audience is a large part of what made this speech effective. If FDR did not display any attempt to relate with the American public during this speech, Americas willingness to go to war would not have been as great. Throughout his speech FDR not only uses emotional appeal to do this but also uses first person nouns such as our and us. Throughout the speech he uses the word ‘us’ only three times, but uses ‘our’ ten times. In one sentence FDR uses ‘our’ several times, ‘There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger’ (Roosevelt), this statement is effective as the President is seen as taking in account everyone and considering himself as one of them.
Repetition in speeches is used as a tool for listeners to easily remember information, a way for the speaker to emphasize key points and a way to provide effective emotional appeal. Franklin D. Roosevelt uses repetition in his speech to do all. He repeats the word ‘attack’ 11 times in his 485 word speech to get the point across that America was not lightly injured, but brutally attacked. The word ‘attack’ is shortly followed by the word ‘Japan’ or ‘Japanese’, FDR uses this as a technique to subconsciously remind the listeners that it was Japan who attacked....

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