Rhetorical Devices

The people of the United States are the target audience for this address. LBJ was speaking out about topics that concerned them.
“My fellow Americans, Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, representatives of the House and Senate.”
The explanation for the speaker’s speech’s formation.
The aim of this speech was to reassure the audience that poverty was a national issue that needed to be addressed immediately.
“Unfortunately, many Americans live on the outskirts of hope—some because of their poverty, and some because of their color, and all too many because of both. Our task is to help replace their despair with opportunity. This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America. I urge this Congress and all Americans to join with me in that effort.”
-repeating words or phrases so as to emphasize their importance.

Repetition helps LBJ to emphasize the importance of bringing an end to poverty. It helps the audience to acknowledge the weight of the matter.

“This budget, and this year’s legislative program, are designed to help each and every American citizen fulfill his basic hopes—his hopes for a fair chance to make good; his hopes for fair play from the law; his hopes for a full-time job on full-time pay; his hopes for a decent home for his family in a decent community; his hopes for a good school for his children with good teachers; and his hopes for security when faced with sickness or unemployment or old age.”
-the use figures of speech to help the audience create a mental image of what is being said.

The speaker uses imagery to let the audience see the absurdity of segregation.

“Today, Americans of all races stand side by side in Berlin and in Vietnam. They died side by side in Korea. Surely they can work and eat and travel side by side in their own country.”
– trustworthiness and believability of the speaker

President Johnson uses this to convince the audience that he can be trusted to do the right thing. He informs them of his role in the fight against poverty.

“For my part, I pledge a progressive administration which is efficient, and honest and frugal. The budget to be submitted to the Congress shortly is in full accord with this pledge.”

– The use of logic to appeal to the intellectual part of the audience’s mind.

LBJ does this through the use of facts and figures. The facts clearly show that there would be a reduction in the budget.

“It will call for total expenditures of $97,900 million—compared to $98,400 million for the current year, a reduction of more than $500 million. It will call for new obligational authority of $103,800 million—a reduction of more than $4 billion below last year’s request of $107,900 million.”
– the use of words that prompt an emotional response from the audience

LBJ brings up John F. Kennedy to convince the audience to support his agenda.

“John Kennedy was a victim of hate, but he was also a great builder of faith—faith in our fellow Americans, whatever their creed or their color or their station in life; faith in the future of man, whatever his divisions and differences. “

Works Cited

“President Johnson’s 1964 State of the Union Address, 1/8/64.” YouTube, uploaded by TheLBJLibrary, 23 May 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv9aim1QJzM.

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