Language

The language Barack Obama uses in his 2012 victory speech is formal but understandable, creating images that the audience can easily relate t…

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Sentence structure

The sentences are generally medium length, giving balance to the speech. They are rarely interrupted or fragmented, revealing the speech was prepared in advance. However, you should note that Obama does not look at his notes while delivering the speech, suggesting that he has learned it by heart.

There is one example of an interjection in the speech, w…

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Choice of words

The choice of words reflects the topics the speaker explores such as American diversity and hope. The speaker combines words with positive and negative meanings, but the general images that he conveys focus more on positive aspects.

Examples of negative words are: “depths of despair”, “our road has been hard”, “battled fiercely”, “small, even silly”, “noisy and messy…

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Tone

The overall tone of the speaker is serious and determined. This is hinted at through the speaker’s gestures. From time to time, he lifts his hands (when he talks about overcoming challenges), or the clenches his fist and points his fingers at the audience to give more weight to his arguments.

Given the context of the speech, Obama also has a triumphant tone, particularly in the beginning of the speech: “It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression…” 

Obama’s tone is als…

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Anecdotes

The speech also includes several stories of unnamed people, given as examples that support the speaker’s point of view that politics matter. Such stories with a message are called anecdotes. The stories are also meant to make the audience have an emotional reaction while imagining these people. In this way, they are more likely to accept the speaker’s views. Here is one such example of a short personal narrative: “You'll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who's…

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