Michael PhelpsPeriod 8November 2
, 2009Kennedy Speech QuestionsDiction1. Why are so many of the wordsabstract? How do words likefreedom, poverty, devotion, andsacrifice set the tone of the speech?Because Kennedy does not reference anything in particularhe allows his audience to fill in the blanks for themselves,so to speak. In this way the emotions associated with thosewords are easier for listeners to relate to and the speechappeals to a wider audience.2. Find examples of formal rhetorictropes such as metaphor andpersonification.Metaphor: ...the dark powers of destruction unleashed byscience, where the powers mean the atom bomb.Personification: ...nor in the life of this AdministrationAntanaclasis: ...not as a call to bear arms, though arms weneed, where the first arms means weapons and the secondmeans physical arms which represents people.3. Does Kennedy use any figures of speech that might be consideredclichés? Which metaphors arefresher? Is there a pattern to theiruse?Yes as can be seen in the quote, that both sides begin anewthe quest for peace, before the dark powers of destructionunleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned oraccidental self-destruction.; this is because using dark todescribe evil is very common.However, And, if a beachhead of cooperation may pushback the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating anew endeavor, is a much fresher example of metaphor asits a very fitting and unique description.It would appear that as the speech progresses Kennedysword choice and stylistic efforts become more idiosyncraticwith its frequent parallelism and aphorism.4. Do any words in the speech seemarchaic or old fashioned? If so, whatare they? What is their effect?Several words could be seen as archaic such as tribulation,asunder, and writ. These words help to establish the speechas a more formal effort.Syntax1. Why do you think Kennedy usedshort paragraphs?The short paragraphs helped to mimic the natural waypeople talk; if Kennedy had written longer, more struttedparagraphs the deliver may have seemed unnatural andstilted.2. The speech contains two extremes of sentence length, ranging from eightwords to six words. A high proportionof the sentences are on the shortside. Why?In much the same way a classical composition of musiccontains crescendos and calandos so too does Kennedysspeech. This stylistic effort helps to emphasize certainparagraphs in contrast to others for greater effect.