“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy”, a quote that almost every American is familiar with - Infamy Speech introduction. On December 8th, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D Roosevelt asked to declare war against Japan. The country had been divided on putting ourselves in the war in Europe and Asia, because “it was not our concern”. Yet, after President Roosevelt’s, the country immediately changed their minds, and were all for justice for us Americans.
The speech was convincing because of strong emotional appeals, extraordinary organization, and the establishment of character. President Roosevelt begins persuading with powerful emotional appeals. He starts by says that the United States was “suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. ” Surprise attacks are un-heard of in this time period, and to be the victim of one is alarming. By saying “suddenly,” Roosevelt is implying that it can again happen without warning.
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He further shows the deception involved in the attack by saying that “during this time the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the US by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. ” President Roosevelt successfully shows the deception and surprise from the Japanese. He is implying that if the Japanese could hit us in Hawaii without warning, then what is preventing them from hitting us anywhere else? Roosevelt then describes the attack, saying it has resulted in “many American lives lost. ” Americans take the loss of lives of their citizens as an impulse to seek justice.
Roosevelt was banking on this mentality and used his words carefully to draw the people in to the war. A final emotional appeal is made by the president at the conclusion of his speech. He says “Hostilities exist. There is no blinking to the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. ” This leaves little room for disagreement among the American public. If our citizens and territory and interests are in danger, they would be thoughtless to support keeping our “isolationist” position in the war.
President Roosevelt uses the organization and style of his speech with great skill, grabbing the audience and then feeding them the information at just the right time and in the right order to be effective. Everyone knew that on the previous day, we had been attacked by Japan. However, President Roosevelt is very specific in his introduction, citing the date, and using words such as “infamy,” “suddenly,” and “deliberately” in his introduction to grab the audience and pull them in to his every word.
The words and style are vital, for if they had failed, the whole speech would be for nothing. President Roosevelt was known for years as being a great speaker, conveying his ideas in a convincing, comforting method. He portrays this expertly in this speech. He uses his phenomenal speaking skills to powerfully persuade the American public and the US Congress to support a war against Japan. His emotional appeals, organization and style contribute to making this speech effective on the target audience.