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Rhetorical Analysis of Speech a Speech by George W. Bush

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In this paper I am going to discuss the rhetorical appeals, as well as the argumentative structure, audience and purpose set forth by George W. Bush in his September 27 speech in Flagstaff, Arizona. More specifically I will refer to the rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos and logos, and explain how they are used to gain the support and attention of the audience and further the further the purpose of the speech. As I explain these appeals I will also give an insight into the argumentative structure and why it is apparent in this particular speech.

President Bush’s speech was directed towards an audience of northern Arizonan republican supporters. Bush continuously uses the rhetorical appeal of pathos, the appeal to the audience’s emotions, to gain support from the crowd and connect them to the issues he addresses on an emotional level. The best example of such an issue is the promise of creating a new forest policy. By raises an issue that the audience was emotionally concerned with, Bush is able to persuade the audience to his purpose as well as relate them to it on an emotional level. It was likely that there were people in the audience who were directly affected by the recent forest fires in Arizona who felt very passionately about the topic of a new national forest policy. The appeal of emotion became a very effective tool in motioning the audience in the direction of his purpose, mainly the gain of support for the republican candidates in the next Arizona election.

The speech appeals to the emotions of the entire nation when it addresses the topic of the war in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism. Bush states, “ the best way to defend the homeland is to hunt the killers down one at a time, and...


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...policy or any other such issue. They were all, more or less, discussed individually and in their own terms.

Bush’s method of topic by topic argument along with many emotional appeals was a rather effective way of winning the audience’s support. By appealing to the emotions of the audience Bush was able to give the audience issues they could relate to as well as issues they would feel strongly about. With an emotionally involved audience Bush was able to gather a great number of supporters of his party, just as he intended in his original purpose. The further reference to the character of the people involved in the issues really paid off by drawing the crowd closer to the people working for them. With the topical structure and the appeals used, the speech was a very effective tool in gaining support for the Republican Party from the northern Arizonan audience.


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