Friday, October 11, 2019
Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama: Back to School Event
On the 8th of September 2009, President Barack Obama held a speech at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, in which he stressed the importance of education. The speech was broadcasted nationally and students were tuning in all across America, kindergarten through 12th grade. His speech makes it very clear that you simply cannot quit school and skip classes because Ã¢â¬Å"youÃ¢â¬â¢re not just quitting on yourself, youÃ¢â¬â¢re quitting on your countryÃ¢â¬ .President Obama would like to motivate all the students who were listening and that feeling of importance, which the sentence above is showing, might be the exact motivator for that to happen. This paper will analyse and comment on the speech and focus on the way President Obama addresses his audience. The composition of the speech is pretty much straightforward and not problematic nor complex. It is started by a short presentation followed by the message of the speech, well-documented with different arguments which su pport each part of the message.It ends with a short summary which sums it all up. This is a necessity given the fact that the audience is Ã¢â¬â as mentioned Ã¢â¬â students of all age. His language is very easy to understand and he doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t use neither imagery language nor hypotactic sentence structure where he referrers to something that isnÃ¢â¬â¢t mentioned. If this wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t the case, large parts of the audience might not understand the message the speech is trying to show, and the speech would be useless for them.Since the audience is a group of students Ã¢â¬â large amount in a small age Ã¢â¬â he tries to make himself likeable. This is seen in the anecdote about his own childhood and hard upbringing. Throughout the speech, President Obama takes great use of pathos as a persuasion mean which means that he appeals to both emotions and feelings: Ã¢â¬Å"And even when youÃ¢â¬â¢re struggling, even when youÃ¢â¬â¢re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you Ã¢â¬â donÃ¢â¬â¢t ever give up yourself. , President Obama is using pathos as the main way of persuasion since people are more likely to agree when theyÃ¢â¬â¢re emotional. There are, however, several places where he appeals to ethos by expressing his own equality to the rest of the audience: Ã¢â¬Å"[Ã¢â¬ ¦] howÃ¢â¬â¢s everybody doing today? Ã¢â¬ , as he opens the speech in this way, he sets the scene and tries to get rid of his authority as the most powerful man in the world since no one likes to be talked down to. President Obama mentions all the different grades of the same reason; he doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t want to talk down to them.President Obamas main point is that all students have to work hard in order to reach success and get a good education. Education is the only Ã¢â¬Å"realÃ¢â¬ way out of poverty, unemployment and trouble. His argument for this statement is that without an education and hard work, you canÃ¢â¬â¢t be something in life; jobs and money doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t come from nothing, even though several Hollywood-movies and TV-series might express that. Furthermore, he stresses the importance of responsibility.Not only for your own actions, but also for the responsibility your teachers should to inspire you, your family to support you and make sure you stay on track, and the governmentÃ¢â¬â¢s responsibility for setting high standards and provide whatever it takes to raise the bar for educational standards. However, all of this doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t mean much if you donÃ¢â¬â¢t take the responsibility of yourself and your education. He describes how every single one of us has something to contribute: Ã¢â¬Å"Every single one of you has something to offerÃ¢â¬ .Hereafter he even gives several examples of opportunities which might occur for someone who has found her/his hidden talent. This also referrers to the Ã¢â¬Å"donÃ¢â¬â¢t quit, donÃ¢â¬â¢t skip, stay in schoolÃ¢â¬ message heÃ¢â¬â¢s trying to embrace. The next part of the speech is once again used to make President Obama identifiable. He knows how hard life can be, since he himself had to break the negative heritage; his parents didnÃ¢â¬â¢t have an college education and didnÃ¢â¬â¢t have much, however, Ã¢â¬Å"ThatÃ¢â¬â¢s no excuse for not trying. Ã¢â¬ , he says. There is, in fact no real excuse for quitting school.He even mentions the American Dream in his speech which is based on the belief that everyone is their own happiness and future. He mentions 3 different people, who have been struggling; nevertheless, their future seems to be bright after their hard work! This is yet another motivator and proof for the people who think their background and personal issues sets them behind. Barack Obama uses a lot of different rhetorical techniques in order to create an environment in which his young audience feels comfortable in; furthermore, it makes his argumentation a lot more convincing.In lines 164-165 he keeps repeating Ã¢â¬Å"I expect [Ã ¢â¬ ¦]Ã¢â¬ , which sets the bars for the upcoming year. I believe he does this because he has an authority. As much as he tries to hide it, he also uses it. If it was a general John Doe who said Ã¢â¬Å"I expect this and that from youÃ¢â¬ , what purpose would it have? The audience wouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t listen! You could say that Barack Obama is a role model for a lot of people Ã¢â¬â if not a whole nation: heÃ¢â¬â¢s the first black president and worked his way up from nothing. President Obama is rying to make the distance between him Ã¢â¬â and his authority Ã¢â¬â and the audience as small as possible by making a lot of comparisons and relations. The words Ã¢â¬Å"I get itÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"I knowÃ¢â¬ is not put there for no reason. By decreasing the gap between him and the audience, his authority is more in the background, and he is now a person whom you can relate to, and not the most powerful man on the world. In America, national sentiment isnÃ¢â¬â¢t very uncommon, an d the responsibility which a lot of people feel toward their country is a mean to motivate people.Therefore, the argument: Ã¢â¬Å"youÃ¢â¬â¢re not just quitting on yourself, youÃ¢â¬â¢re quitting on your countryÃ¢â¬ is one powerful motivator. I feel that the speech is indeed influenced by American thinking, however, it all makes sense; even in my head. He stresses the importance of education, and that is something each and every country has a necessity to do; perhaps he has found the way to actually communicate the message? Ã¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬â [ 1 ]. line 65 [ 2 ]. line 147-149 [ 3 ]. lines 36-37 [ 4 ]. lines 92-107 Ã¯ » ¿Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama: Back to school Event One of the most important and discussed topics in politics has always been education because of its decisive role in society. Education is the key stone for the generations to come and well educated citizens are a necessity for a successful society in the 21st century. Politicians also make education a high priority because they know it is where votes can be drawn. A politician who also is concerned about the matter of education is President Barrack Obama. And in his speech Ã¢â¬Å"Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama: Back to School EventÃ¢â¬ held in Arlington, Virginia on September 8, 2009, he addresses to the Americans students the importance of education and emphasizes that the responsibility to do well in school lies with the students themselves.This is a responsibility that they have to meet, not only for their own sake but for the sake of their country. President Obama emphasizes the importance of education and self-responsibility to children from kindergarten to 12th grade. Children at that age can be difficult to address to, especially with such a big size of group, so Obama must use various approaches to make it possible. He talks to them as an equal so young audience can identify with him and not only see him as the President. He uses a simple and informal language with many repetitions and examples they can relate to. He starts out by saying Ã¢â¬Å"Hello everyone Ã¢â¬â howÃ¢â¬â¢s everybody doing today?Ã¢â¬ (Page 1, line 1). He speaks directly to the audience to get their attention.He needs the attention from the children and hold on them to get through with his message. He does that by gaining their respect for him and shows that he sincerely cares about them. In the beginning of the speech Obama tells about his story from when he was young. How he was raised by his mother who did not had any money to take him to school, so she had to give him lessons at home at 4:30 in the morning. He also mentions things he did he is not proud of th at got him in troubles. Then Obama shares and opens up about his personal stories, he uses ethos in his arguments to increase his reliability with the audience. It makes it easier for Obama to get through with his message when the people he talks to have his respect.Obama starts stressing his message after he has achieved the audienceÃ¢â¬â¢s attention. Obama has two main messages in his speech. The first one is that the self-responsibility of the education lies with the student. Maybe theÃ parents and the teachers also have some responsibility for the student, but it all comes the student Ã¢â¬Å"none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilitiesÃ¢â¬ (Page 2, line 30). The students will not have everything served for them; it is their turn to take action and take responsibility for their choices. The second one is that the students also have a responsibility for the nation. The nation depends on the students to get a well education.The future of the nation l ies with the students to be a functional part of the US society so the nation can operate and compete Ã¢â¬Å"What youÃ¢â¬â¢re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.Ã¢â¬ (Page 2, lines 52-54). Obama is addressing to the students patriotic American inside them. Most American is raised to be patriotic and Obama knows hot to make use of it. Everybody wants to be a part of something that has an influence on the nation, and every student has the responsibility to their nation Ã¢â¬Å"We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect Ã¢â¬ ¦ If you donÃ¢â¬â¢t do that Ã¢â¬â if you quit on school Ã¢â¬â youÃ¢â¬â¢re not just quitting on yourself, youÃ¢â¬â¢re quitting on your country.Ã¢â¬ (Page 2, lines 62-64).Obama begins to speak about how hard work is the most important key to success. Everybody has the opportunity to succeed. Here he indirectly refers to the American Dream; w ith hard work you can accomplish everything. Ã¢â¬Å"Where you are right now doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t have to determine where youÃ¢â¬â¢ll end up. No oneÃ¢â¬â¢s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.Ã¢â¬ (Page 3, lines 88-90).He uses himself and Michelle Obama, the first lady, while using pathos as examples of people who started from the button with bad conditions and build up to become successful. He comes up with three other cases than himself:Ã Ã¢â¬Å"Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell arenÃ¢â¬â¢t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And i expect all of you to do the sameÃ¢â¬ (Page 4, lines 105-107)Obama uses the sponsorship effect to create ethos. He also uses Michael JordanÃ¢â¬â¢s and J. K. RowlingÃ¢â¬â¢s story to get it out that you cannot succeed without fail ing. Obama uses persons who are idol to many so they get inspired to try to accomplish the same success. He wants the students to understand that if they want to be successful, they need to set goals for themselves and take responsibility for their education for that to happen. Throughout the speech, Obama uses a number of different strategies to affect the broad group of audience. By use concrete example they can relate to with a language everybody is able to understand, he inspires and motivates the young people who is the future of the USA.