Back to School Event
The speech is based on responsibility and not giving up on education, he also mentions some people who are successful today and talk about how they got there, and that the students of America can do the same, if they were responsible enough to do their part for the country. It’s as if, he asks the students, if they could do him a favor, and the more they educate themselves, the more he will make sure the students have the books, classrooms, equipment and computers they need to fulfill their education.
He mentions a lot of values in his speech, but something he repeats the most and is the message of his speech is to never give up. Barack Obama starts his speech by asking the students “how’s everybody doing today? ”, already in the very beginning of his speech, he uses a simple language, which makes it easier for the younger audience to understand.
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A simple language and syntax is being used throughout the whole speech, and pathos when he tells about his own experience and expresses how he feels on this matter in the speech, which in general, makes it easier to earn people’s attention. I know the feeling. When I was young my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning. ” Feelings are important to use, especially when the speaker is trying to make a statement, and in this case it will make the listeners think that they aren’t the only ones going through struggle, and the fact that he is as successful as he is, makes the listeners think that they could do the same if they didn’t give up.
Another thing Obama uses in his speech is his compassion for the students. “.. for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. ” -“I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork. ” Often when he shows his compassion for the students, it’s followed by his childhood and how he coped with the situation. “My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills (.. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in. ” Usually, when hearing others’ struggles, people tend to pity them, and this can be one of the reasons why using feelings in a speech, but another thing very important in a speech is reliability. The title, Barack Obama has, already makes him reliable, but he uses other successful people as examples, like J. K. Rowling and Michael Jordan. They are both very famous people, who are idols of many people. Obama mentions, that Rownling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected 12 times, before they were published, and all the shots Michael Jordan has missed.
Obama even uses of one Michael Jordan’s quotes: I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. ” The speech is divided in sections, where he uses pathos to get the attention of people, followed by ethos, where he tells why he is here and the reason why the students should be more responsible in school. “Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what it is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide. And logos, when he uses other successful people the younger audience knows or unknown, but successful like Jazmin Perez, who couldn’t talk English, when she first started her education, Andoni Schults, who has brain cancer and has difficulties with remembering thing he has learned, and Shantell, who is going to college, even after having a hard childhood. Like said before, using examples of people, who haven’t had a good childhood or life at all, makes the students think in way, that it’s pathetic they cannot achieve the same things.
It boosts the students’ views on education, which makes them want to work harder. He also uses the future of their country as an example, by them that what they make out of their education will decide nothing less than the future of their country . What they’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future. He continuously reminds the students, that in order to solve problems, help the world, create something new and important and protect our environment, requires the knowledge which the teachers, adults, and authorities try their best to give.
He is addressing to the students as if they were talking together privately, and he also asks what they will do for their country, which makes the students more curious of what they are able to do. Obama uses all of the modes of appeal in great use, and has a lot of good examples in his speech. If you carefully look at the speech, you can see that he has somehow created a pattern – pathos, to get the students first, ethos, to tell and enlighten people why he is there and logos, where he uses other people as examples. This pattern goes throughout the speech several times.
He encloses the speech by using pathos, where he uses family, teachers and the government as a key to a better future, because these adults are here for the students, when they’re in need. The values he wanted to tell are stated clearly in the speech. His purpose is to get the students attention and remind them, that education is very important for a better life and a better future. And that anyone is able to achieve whatever they want, if they try their hardest. It is important not to give up after only one try, instead give it more tries and practice to achieve your goals.