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. This 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 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.
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.