Language

In this section, we will analyze the language used in Michelle Obama’s Democratic Convention speech. We will focus on word choice, sentence structure, and tone.

Michelle Obama’s language is interesting to analyze, as she is not a traditional political speaker. However, she is successful in promoting her husband’s presidential campaign particularly because her natural and heart-felt way of speaking makes her more accessible to the general popula…

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Word choice

Michelle Obama employs a large number of positive adjectives, nouns, and linguistic structures throughout her speech, such as “grace-filled moment”, “heart of my heart”, “our rock”, “fairness”, “justice”, “great American story”, “blessing”, etc. These structures offer an overall positive note to the speech (and therefore to her image of the future under Barack Obama’s leadership).

Also, note that Michelle Obama employs a variety of action verbs, which are mostly related to her husband’s…

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Sentence structure

Throughout her speech, Michelle Obama mainly uses medium-length sentences, which have the role of helping the audience focus on the issues she presents. These medium-length sentences mirror a natural way of speaking and also help Michelle Obama detach from the typical way in which political speeches are delivered. Her purpose is to reach out to ordinary citizens, this being one of the reasons why she employs medium-length sentences and why her tone is natural and heart-felt: “I come here as a wife who …

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Tone

The televised version of the speech will help you discover more about Michelle Obama’s tone. At times, she is humorous and light-hearted, mostly when she talks about her brother Craig or about her first impression of her husband: “As you might imagine, for Barack, running for president is nothing compared to that first game of basketball with my brother, Craig.”; “And you know, what struck me when I first met Barack was that even though he had this funny name…” 

Michelle Obama also employs a serious tone whe…

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