Rhetorical Analysis Paper. Obama Inauguration 2013.
The purpose of the present paper is to present a description, analysis and evaluation of the Obama’s Inauguration Speech in 2013. The inauguration speech was delivered by President Obama after the elections, where he was chosen the President of the United States second time. He already had five years of experience in leading the country. It was the hard period, when the world and American economy faced the severe economic crisis. In the day of the second inauguration Obama already has achievements and feels support of the people. The first inauguration for him and US was an extraordinary and resonance, as Obama was the first African-American President and the expectations from his presidential term were really high and inspiring. While during the second inauguration the public support was lower and reflected mostly more real expectations of people.
The primary audience of the event is represented by Vice-President, Congressmen, chief justice, distinguish guests, country’s intellectual and authority’s elite and, of course, the President’s family. The secondary audience consists of citizens (civilians and militaries), who came to this honorable ceremony. The structure of the President’s speech underlines the peculiarities and the hierarchy of the auditory: he relates firstly, to the Vice-President, congressmen and guests and then refers to all citizens. He continues with the mentioning the main values that are basic for Americans: diversity, equality, freedom and republic. Further, Obama mentions the key challenges for the country at this historic period. The dominating themes here were peace, collective actions and free market that should provide equality to all citizens. The structure of the speech follows with the key points of the Obama’s priorities: education and reformation of schools, health care and person’s dignity, respond to the peace threats and the role of USA in the world as the peace guarder. Finally, he finishes the inauguration with the phrase “God, bless this United States of America” that demonstrates his belief in the good future of the country under the God’s blessing.
Appealing to the auditory Obama applied some instruments and strategies that helped his speech to be successful and important. One of them and the most notarial is the repetition. The second one is the myth of origin. And the third strategy that was applied for meeting audience needs is an American exceptionalism. Now we will focus on each of these strategies in details. The repetition is the instrument that orators used in their speeches from the times of ancient Greeks, where the manner to repeat some phrase in the successive sentences was called Anaphora (Weissman, 2013). For his inauguration text Obama used the Constitutional phrase “We, the people…” four times. It seems not so much; however, with the right intonation accents and pauses he could underline the beginning of key speech messages. With this strategy the President also continued the M. L. King’s tradition that goes from his famous speech “I have a dream” (this phrase was repeated sixteen times) (Weissman, 2013).