Intention

Barack Obama’s 2008 victory speech explores themes like responsibility, hope, and change. These themes were influen…

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Accepting Obama as President

The speaker’s overall intention with the speech is to inspire the American people to accept him as their President and to face the challenges the country was confronted with by assuming responsibility and believing in their power to overcome hardships.

Often, what gives more weight to the speaker’s message and helps him achieve his intentions is the use of rh…

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Confronting the country's challenges

To convince the American people that they should assume more responsibility, Obama first involves them by claiming his victory is their victory. After that, he tells them that change and victory come with responsibilities: “And I know you didn't do this just to win an election. And I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead.” 

This is also a form of ethos as the speaker depicts the audience as reliable and caring. Later, he directly calls them to act and change their attitude so that they can overcome the hardships America faces: “So let us summ…

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