Intention

Barack Obama’s Selma speech explores topics like the importance of the Selma marches, confronting present challenges in America, and unity. Through these topics, Obama creates a link between the past, the present, and the future and presents the idea of unity between Americans as a solution to current issues like poverty, racism, and inequality.

The speaker’s overall intention with his speech is to honor the marchers at Selma and, through their image, to encourage the American people to unite again in a fight for equality and fr…

...

Honoring the Selma marches

To achieve his intention of honoring the marchers at Selma, Obama highlights their sacrifice and patriotism as he describes the historical circumstances of the Selma march, the humble origins of the marchers, and the violence the marchers endured as they asked for their rights to be respected.

Often, the speaker achieves his intention through the use of rhetorical devices such as allusions and references, imagery, metaphors, parallelism, rhetorical questions, and direct address. Through these rhetorical devices, the speaker is able to express the importance of the Selma marches.

Furthermore, Obama uses logos and ethos to express the idea that the Selma march was not an isola…

...

Unity in confronting present challenges in America

Part of Obama’s intention in the speech is to inspire courage and unity in the audience, so that they can address present-day challenges in America. First, Obama aims to encourage the audience to acknowledge the issues that America faces. For example, Obama uses logos when he mentions police violence towards African Americans, as he aims to draw the audience’s attention to the problem of racism in America.

The speaker also uses pathos to empower the members of the audience, by remarking that those who marched at Selma were simple, humble citizens . The speaker also encourages Americans to become involv…

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of PrimeStudyGuides.com, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in