In December 7th, 1941There were attacks on the Pearl Harbor base in Hawai’i by the Japanese. At the time of the attacks, the numbers of soldiers in the base were minimal since some had closed whereas others were on weekend leaves. The incoming Japanese planes that attacked the naval base were detected, but were mistaken to a group of American planes that were expected to arrive in the naval base from the mainland. These attacks were survived and took about two hours, and the reason that made them have a big impact is the fact that it had caught The USA as a surprise. The numbers of casualties were 2896 soldiers in which 2,117 among them were death, and the rest wounded. The number of American ships that were damaged from this attack was 18 among them including eight battleships, three were light cruisers and three of them were destroyers. Apart from the damaged ships also 161 plain of The USA were destroyed. This attack was one of the major causes of why America joined world war two.
The day after the attacks the president Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed the congress as well as the nation through the radio and declared a war against Japan. The declaration was shortly approved by the congress minutes after the president had announced. The speech from the president on this remarkable day from the attacked showed leadership communication in times of crisis. The entire nation was in sorrow due to the casualties from the attack hence the president delivered an effective rhetoric that that would help the nation during this tragic moment. The secretary of state Cordell Hull urged the president to recite Japanese deceit, the president only deliver a very brief and clear appeal to the people of the United States. Though this speech was very brief the i8mpact was major .The congress took a very short time to vote and the count of votes was 82-0 in the house (Hane, 202) . Hence the relation that the public wanted was initiated. The president had given to the people the alertness that they required.In his speech, he reminded the people of America the importance of defense and ultimate victory. The ability of President Roosevelt to guide the nation that had been stricken with tragedy into action can be the best example to be emulated by the world leaders.
In this paper, I have described the rhetoric of President Roosevelt that guide the nation to unite on the basis of patriotism at the time the country was in tragedy. I will go to great details on how the use of ideographs helped him to succeed in uniting the nation. I will also analyze the president’s speech and the rhetorical devices that he used in his speech. I will. Finally, look at how President Roosevelt has advanced the notion of nationalism and that of patriotism in his speech that is known as the day infamy speech and give the relevant example on how he created his ideologies (Safire, 23).
Rhetorical effectiveness of the speech
The major reason President Roosevelt speech was very effective was because he had support and confidence of the American people. When he delivered this speech, he was serving his third term in power and was the right person to guide this nation at this time of tragedy and also due to the factor that under his leadership America had maintained neutrality. This neutrality had to change since Japanese had attacked their naval base at Hawai’i. President Roosevelt did exactly what the nation wanted him to do after being victimized by the surprise attack by japans, so he retaliated. His response was not just a personal response but was the response of the whole nation. The speech was very effective in that it called for the nation uniting and channels their response collectively. The significance of this speech to the nation was immeasurable. If President Roosevelt had decided to give his speech in an alternative way the people of America would not have respondent in the same way, maybe they would have been disappointed. The people of America were eager to hear the rhetoric that Roosevelt delivered to them and to help them to comprehend the significance of the event that will always appear in our nation’s history. He capitalized to channel the fear and the emotions that his people had into united plans that lead to self realization, the thing that the public was desperately looking at for three year (Hane, 342).
Roosevelt assumed the presidency in the year 1933, at this time the United States of America was in the middle of server depression that had prolonged for three years. Most of the Americans were in dire need of hope at this time, and President Roosevelt had the ability to restore hope back to them. During his inaugural speech, he delivered this famous line that “the only thing that you have to fear is fear itself”. In his first term, he passed very many legislation rules that would help America recover from this depression that had affected them for three years. In his second term that he got elected by landslide majority he never passed as many legislation like first. In the year 1940, he was elected for the third time by majority votes of fifty five percent. In the third term, he focused mainly on the World War II; with the attack that had occurred at Pearl Harbor was the most significant event to the history of The USA as it forced the country to enter into World War II (Brandenburg, 246).
Most American at the time not only considered Roosevelt as president, but they also viewed him as a friend. The viewed president Roosevelt as a very credible person on whom they could entrust him with the responsibilities of making decisions for this great nation. He was able to deliver to this nation what was known as the fireside chat that which were made with the intention of transforming the nation from the bad time to the good times (Safire, 206). His effective communication always helped him to impact the directness and more of all sincerity to the ears of his listeners. He always started his chats with “good evening friends” and since he was addressing the nation in this manner the American people faith during the hard economic times continued to be restored in him. His simplicity and clearness enabled even the layman to understand the message he was passing across. His ability in the speech that he used to deliver in making every one of the listener seem like he is communicating to them face to face always made the people of The USA to support his decision.
President Roosevelt used three techniques to convenience his nation in his speech. This technique includes being very clear in that his speeches were easy to understand, use of open language and at time he used give simple explanations and very simple organization of text. He used to be very persuasive in his speech hence this always guaranteed him sure support from his listeners. In his speeches, he always emphasized on the importance of unity. He always emphasized that when a country was united the will never be defeated and on that day that he gave his speech after the attack to the naval base, the entire American saw the need to unite at the tragic moment (Dudley, 234). Hence he was given support nationwide as it became evident when all member of the senate voting to support his decision to retaliate into the attacks and enter into World War II though they were neutral before the attacks. Use of the future tense in his speech gave the American the vision of how significant this event would be to their nation. When he use the future tense in his speech by saying “no matter how long it will take us to overcome this invasion, the people of America in will righteously win through to absolute victory.
The method of analysis, I will use to analyze the speech of President Roosevelt is the use of ideological critics. In this method, the critics always look beyond the surface of the aircrafts and go to details in order to discover the beliefs, the values and the assumption that will be created. The main objective of the paper is looking into deep into the ideology of the aircraft. In my analysis I will use the Sonja Foss scholar ideological critics
Sonja Foss in his ideological critics always evaluates the beliefs-beliefs so that he can come with the possible alternatives to the judgment. The ideology consists of the set pattern for the belief which is useful in the evaluation of the issues, different topics for different group. It also gives the interpretation of certain world beliefs. And finally encourage certain action and attitudes toward the ideologies I dig deeper into the analysis of president Roosevelt speech I will illustrate how he successfully achieve this and lead his nation into a particular attitude toward the action that he comes up and need support.
The speech of President Roosevelt’s after the attack on Pearl Harbor was just twenty five lines and the speech lasted less than seven minutes. Although his speech was short, it was very clear in that the intended message that he wanted to pass was at home with all those Americans that were listening to his speech. While the president was addressing the congress with his speech, he gave the greetings from the vice-president, speaker, and the members of the senate house. Hence showed that they had all united in that decision; he also took into account that he would address the entire nation using radio. At this time, the public was in despair and shock so they needed a rhetorical address from their president (Prange, 393). In his speech, he was addressing both his nation and the whole world. He wanted to clarify the Japanese that the consequences of their actions would be dire. During the whole speech, Roosevelt was addressing the speech using the words like "ours" and "us" to demonstrate that, in his speech, they were included and hence this assisted him in gaining the support of the American citizens.
Roosevelt in his speech included the violence and destruction that the Japans had caused. He used words such as; deliberately, onslaught, deceive to show to the people of America that japans had caused the damaged intentionally hence there was a need to declare war with Japan in order to protect the territories and sovereignty of the people of America. Convinced the public to supporting ideas such ideology that were used by Roosevelt were very effective in that they evoked a feeling of betrayal among the audiences. These words show that the attacks were premeditated and came with intentions of deceiving the USA.As a result of emotional evocation, the audience of Roosevelt were guided toward the feeling of the ideology. He also uses the anaphora in the middle of his speech. He repeats the words the Japanese attacked us six times in his speech. In using this word, he makes his audience see the idea of deception that the American people felt as a result of the surprise attacks (Dudley, 123). He criticizes what the Japanese did and create the ideology that the American people should retaliate hence finally he can convince the American public to join the World War II.
I conclude my paper by saying that the surprise attack in the naval base at Pearl Harbor till to date remains one of the most devastating attacks to America. Most innocent people lost their dear lives and properties worth a lot destroyed. President Roosevelt with rhetorical speech can unite the public in patriotism during the tragic moment. The use of rhetoric helps him to successful since he gains support of public as the analysis has proved.
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