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Reclaiming the American Dream

This study guide will help you analyze the Barack Obama’s speech on reclaiming the American Dream. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the main topics, speaker, audience, language, modes of persuasion, circumstances and intention

Presentation of the speech

Title: “Obama’s November 7, 2007, speech on the ‘American Dream’ ”
Speaker: Barack Obama
Where: Bettendorf, Iowa
When: 7th of November, 2007

Barack Hussein Obama II (b. 1961) is an American politician who was also the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017. He was the first African American to serve in this office. The present speech was delivered during Barack Obama’s 2007 presidential campaign.

You can watch the speech here.

Excerpt 

Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

Allusions

One of the most interesting allusions (indirect references) that Obama makes in his speech is to Fannie Lou Hamer, an American rights activist and a Civil Rights Movement Leader in the 1960s. When asked why she continued to fight for her civil rights, Hamer gave an answer which became famous: she stated that she was sick and tired her entire life, and that she finally found the courage to become sick and tired of being sick and tired. In his speech, Obama makes an allusion to her and connects her famous words with living under the Bush administration: “We're ready for the Bush Administration to end, because we are sick and tired of being sick and tired.” 

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Reclaiming the American Dream

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