JFK Inaugural Speech Analysis

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John F Kennedy’s Inaugural address is considered one of the best speeches in the twentieth-century. The speech itself is most famous for its call of action which truly helped shaped history. His address gave hope to the American citizens for a better future but also warned them about dangerous outcomes. President Kennedy refers to history of the United States throughout his speech to announce future responsibilities and obligations of the United States and its citizens.

One of the first things that President Kennedy addresses in his speech is how the United States cannot be selfish for its own freedom. He encourages that we help other countries realize that being selfish may result in the destruction of themselves: “we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom – and to remember that, in the, past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside”. Giving this insight to his audience he shows a fresh idea for his new worldview. Kennedy made a point to remind others on his role as the president and voice of a new generation, he knew there would be exceptional change.

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Kennedy’s speech is filled with promising words and hope that comes from the heart of Kennedy himself. From the beginning of his speech to the very end, Kennedy retells the American experience of struggle and success. To encourage his audience to accept their new responsibilities, he reminds them that the “torch” had been passed to them (4) to symbolize generation change and the power that was given to our nation. By emphasizing the past with comments like “tempered by war” and “disciplined by a hard and bitter peace,” he retells the struggles that Americans had but between the lines reminds Americans that they overcame these struggles. He reminds Americans that the strength they had together was the reason why they won. The way how Kennedy spoke to the people was not only motivating but inspiring. Their new responsibilities are to embrace the shared values they all had and to look forward to a future that Kennedy expresses in their speech and they take his words seriously.

Kennedy reclaims towards the end of his speech that it is important that both sides begin a new and that it is important that we “Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us,” (16). Uniting the U.S. with other countries brings up problems within his audience. He understands that everyone is afraid for the cold-long war that will come. However, he steps up at the new president of the United States and gives his people new responsibilities that will help revive the strength of the country.

Kennedy’s speech possesses grace of a successful Inaugural speech. Not only is his speech wonderfully written but it unites the public in one common cause without violence or threats. The citizens that were present at Kennedy’s speech welcomed his new ideas because his words were promising and they needed hope to make it through the current rough times. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address proposed a new vision of the foreign policy for American citizens and they accepted their new obligations without worry knowing that their President would stand beside them.

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JFK Inaugural Speech Analysis. (2016, Jun 02). Retrieved from


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