Thursday, January 24, 2013

Inaugural Address Activity by Nina

So I'm really not into politics and they really make no sense to me so excuse me if I sound like a neophyte (yay vocab word!). I felt like Obama's speech focused mainly on economy, work and children. Reforming programs and policies was another central topic. To me, he pretty much followed "Faith in America's Future," but focused more on how we can improve the future, which I guess is sorta the same (ish) thing. Regardless of staying on theme, I think the content of the speech was good and didn't completely bore me to sleep like most politics do, so I'd definitely say that's good!  He talked a lot about working together and ignoring our differences.

Here he used parallelism excellently to emphasize the importance and history of the country and the people working together:
"Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.
Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.  
Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune."
He used the same kind of strategy later in the speech but used "We the people," followed with longer paragraphs and repeated it for another parallel effect.

All throughout the speech he alluded to the Preamble, to the Constitution, to Civil Rights, to the Revolutionary Period, and made it all fit together nicely to fit today. He definitely had a lot of pathos in there, one time in particular referring to the "little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own." He also talked about Sandy, which was more pathos. But he balanced out the pathos with logos as well by talking about creating jobs and businesses. 

Compared with the speech from last year, both talked about working together and jobs and economy. 2008's seemed to focus more on the nation and work and the people, but this years was definitely more focused on "together" and equality and how we're on a long journey. I feel like these themes are really similar, which isn't necessarily bad. They each have their nuances though! (LOL another vocab word!!)

And I'll end with my favorite quote from the speech, which happens to use parallelism:
"We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect.  We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall."

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