Rhetorical Analysis Outline

For my rhetorical analysis, I will be analyzing George Bush’s 9/11 Address to the Nation.

The context of this speech is very well known throughout the world. On September 11th, 2001, terrorists hijacked airplanes and crashed two into the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon, while one was brought down by a passenger who thwarted the terrorist’s attempt. This act of terror resonated to ears around the world and people from all walks of life banded together to support each other. ┬áThis is the greatest tragedy our nation has ever seen.

The speech invoked a great sense of nationalism and family within our nation. Everyone seemed to be affected in some way by the attack, so we all shared some sense of fear, anger, and sadness. Bush appealed to commonplaces with phrases such as “our fellow citizens,” “The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors,” and “America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together.”

The falling man.

The speech attempts to instruct a world of people who will stand together, American citizens and our allies, in order to help us recover from this event. Additionally, the speech attempts to convince people why they should support the war on terror.

Frozen Moment.

The speech seeks to create an identity of the American people as a strong, supportive group who will stand together through anything and who can survive any struggle. This is connected to what is what is seen to be good and desirable because nationalism and love for one’s neighbors is essential to the strength of a nation. The speech reinforces the support in the current power relation of the strength and resolve of the American people.

The kairos of this speech is something that was very controversial. As Bush delivered the speech on September 14th, some were angered while others understood. The people who were angered were angered because they thought that our president should know how to react to any situation and be there as our leader to support us. People who understood saw that no one knew how to react to the situation, so it is important that Bush took sufficient time to give a sufficient response to the situation.

3 thoughts on “Rhetorical Analysis Outline

  1. vag5076

    As someone originally from New York, it was hard looking at the pictures. Although we were around the age of five when it happened, I lost some loved ones, who over the years and hearing stories from family members have grown fond of their memory. I agree that Bush’s speech had perfect timing and a definite necessity to it. The only points I could make about your essay is to include quotes from the speech itself, and in your beginning paragraph you said it was the greatest tragedy in our nation. Definitely the latter is a more subjective topic, but there was Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg, Vietnam… etc. Another small thing is that it was multiple passengers that took down flight 93 in PA. Overall it looks good.

  2. cjh5690

    9/11 has always been one of those events in American History that has captured my mind and heart like no other. I seem to find myself glued to the TV every September 11 for hours at a time, watching accounts and live footage of the tragedy, year after year. But you know what? We seldom hear good about George Bush, and equally as seldom do we hear about George W.’s Speech these days. Perhaps in the midst of tragedy, we found it difficult to accept the words of President Bush, but in retrospect, I think that a lot can be learned from this speech. I really hope that you use both the text and video in your analysis – I did the same with my analysis of Hitler’s first speech as chancellor, and not only will it open the gateway to a more thorough analysis, but it really does allow your audience to delve into the past and really “be there” with the rhetoric.

    You’re definitely off to a good start. Good luck!

  3. grp5097

    This is a speech that will move almost all that read it. The use of kairos is so intense in this speech, especially due to the fact that Bush decided to wait a full 3 days to respond (as you mentioned). With this being said, the speech was created in a very cramped amount of time, so I am interested to see your take on how the rhetorical appeals that makeup his speech affected listeners and audiences internationally! I also am wondering how you are going to structure your essay? And which sources (audio, textual, videos) you will use as your primary sources? All things to think about as you develop your final draft! As a whole, nice start.

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