An Analysis of President George W. Bush’s Speech Following 9/11

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Updated: Nov 14, 2022
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After the catastrophic attacks on the world trade centre, the pentagon and a failed attack on the white house, America was shaken. Aircraft hijackings, Suicide attacks, Mass murders took the lives of around 3000 people and injured around 6000. George Bush addresses the citizens of United States of America after the horrific attacks on 9/11. Through the use of anaphora, inclusive words and juxtaposition, George Bush’s speech intends to unify and console the people of America. George Bush’s speech besides targeting the citizens of America also addresses the people and leaders of other countries. As the speech was televised, the range of audience increases. As mentioned in the speech, the members of congress were also targeted as they were present in strongly condemning the attacks. As this attack was one of the worst attacks a superpower like America suffered, the purpose was not only to console and unite the citizens of America but also to show power and not portray the nation as defeated, “America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time”

George Bush employs a vast range of stylistic devices to unite and console the country men, through the use of inclusive words and anaphora and pathos. The heavy use of inclusive words in Bush’s speech makes it more impactful. These words make the audience engage with the speech more and thus portraying unity. For example, “Our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts”. “Our military is powerful, our emergency teams are working, our first priority is to get help to those who were injured”. Similarly, Anaphora or Repetition play a part in portraying the unity and strength of the nation. Constant usage of similar words has the effect of engaging the audience ina particular emotional experience, in this case the attacks. It works by allowing the audience to participate and feel included in the process. But the key stylistic device used in the speech was pathos, the appeal to emotion, as the horrific attacks and live lost created a very emotional surrounding, thus using this particular stylistic device creates a greater impact on the audience. For example, “The victims were in airplanes, or in their… moms and dads, friends and neighbours”. It is the emotional influence of the speaker on the audience. It creates a favourable emotional affection of the audience towards the objective of the speech. Thus, through the use of pathos, Bush consoles the citizens of America

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George Bush’s speech has a tone of sadness along with unyielding anger. Through the use of diction as well as allusion and imagery, Bush expresses his sadness and anger in the speech. For example, “Even though I walked through the valley… I fear no evil. You are with me”. The allusion created here portrays many feelings of the speaker. There is a hint of sorrowfulness along with a light anger. Similarly in the following example, “This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our revolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before and we will do so this time”, one can see that the speaker is extremely angry with the situation and through portraying the unity of the country shows strength and resilience. A similar mood is also created that of sadness and anger as the speaker uses harsh diction such as “shattered, war against terrorism, evil acts, terrible sadness, unyielding anger etc.

The information in the speech is very well organized. The positioning of every paragraph has a meaning to it as organization plays a major role in catching and holding the audience’s attention. The speech starts off with a very informing, emotional and consoling note. Moving onto the details of the attacks and the measures taken to ensure safety and help to those in need, to finally appreciating the presence of the dignified personnel and concluding with an inspiring quote and ensuring justice and peace in the future. To conclude, the speech’s purpose to unite and console the citizens of America was resolved. The level of interpretation in this analysis was quite detailed and focused as no aspect was looked over. As far as the speech is concerned, the effectiveness of the choice of medium, techniques and structure were extremely high and impactful. At the end of the day, it is a speech written by a president of one of the most power nations thus the impact would also have to be of that scale itself.

An Analysis of President George W. Bush’s Speech Following 9/11 essay

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An Analysis of President George W. Bush's Speech Following 9/11. (2022, Nov 14). Retrieved from