Rhetorical devices

Rhetorical devices are used by a speaker to make arguments more appealing and memorable, which makes it easier to create a connection with the audience.

George W. Bush uses a number of different rhetorical devices in his 9/11 address, which you can read about bel…

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Allusions and references

A notable allusion (indirect reference) in Bush’s 9/11 speech is to America’s past victories against its enemies: “America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time.”. The speaker uses this reference to suggest his confidence that Americ…

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Antithesis

Antithesis is a contrast or opposition that the speaker uses to emphasize an important idea while creating a memorable image.

One example from the 9/11 speech is “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.”. This is meant to show that America is a strong nation, based on profound …

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Imagery and metaphors

George W. Bush uses imagery in his speech to underline his feelings and the feelings of the audience around the world as the attacks happened: “The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge – huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a qu…

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Repetition and enumeration

The speaker uses enumeration and repetition several times to underline various ideas in his speech. The first example of repetition is found at the start of the speech and is meant to emphasize how the terrorist attacks affected many aspects of American life: “Today, our fellow citize…

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