Speech Analysis Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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The Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation was an impacting speech that affected the course of the world’s history. This speech to the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives was a striking response towards the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Empire. President Roosevelt had been a senator in the New York Legislature, an assistant secretary to the Navy, and the Governor of New York, thus as an experienced politician, Roosevelt knew how to properly address his audience and spoke slowly with a firm and clear voice.

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Throughout the speech, the president maintains the firm voice, often pausing between words and sentences for clarity and emphasis. He also makes frequent eye contact with his audience. He also raises his speaking volume to emphasize certain words. He raised his voice in words, such as American and righteous. President Franklin Roosevelt used the rhetorical technique of Ethos to set his authority and credibility of his speech. He also was able to use Pathos, a rhetorical technique, to target the emotional anger, sadness, and fervor that the nation had. For example, Roosevelt says, I regret to tell you that very many American have been lost… the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. President Roosevelt’s address contains a series of repetitions.

He begins the repetition by saying the phrase, Last night, the Japanese forces attacked (Roosevelt). He then lists the places conquered by the Japanese. Through this repetition, Roosevelt emphasizes the necessity to prevent the further impact of the Japanese in the Pacific and thus take offensive measures against the Empire of Japan. The end of the address contains the purpose of President Roosevelt’s speech. The speech ends by saying, I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire (Roosevelt). The speech ends with frequent pauses for emphasis and changes in volume. Certainly, President Roosevelt’s speech to Congress further ignited the fervor and patriotism of the members of Congress and the people of the United States of America.

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Speech Analysis Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (2019, Jun 24). Retrieved January 28, 2023 , from
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