Back to school event
Education is important for everyone in the society. Education ensures the future for young and old, and also the future society. The talk about education is also very relevant on the politically agenda, not only in America, but also in Denmark. Education is nearly always a priority on the agenda. And Obama keeps making speeches about the importance of getting and education. But does the clear American attitude change the message in Obamas’ speech? In the southern state Virginia in a town called Arlington the president of the United States, Barack Obama, held a speech in the year of 2009, on the 8th September. In the speech he stressed the importance of education and learning. It was broadcasted to students all over the country of all ages in order to get his word out: “If you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.” This sentence really sets the agenda for Barack Obama’s speech.
By reading this people thinks that the entire future of the country is depending on them and their involvement. And of course this is the reaction that Obama is expecting. The feeling of importance will hopeful motivates students to work harder for a brighter future. The composition is not difficult to understand. The speech has a simple structure, which starts with a short introduction succeeded by the main message of his speech. He is supporting it by using different arguments and form of appeal. He is mixing a great deal of stories about himself and his life as a young student. In the ending there is a short summery of everything that has been mentioned so far. As I have mentioned in the above, the speech is directed towards students of all ages. Therefore is the language simple and understandable for both young and old students. He keeps it formal with a twist of casual. In the beginning of the speech Barack Obama chooses to start out with “how’s everybody doing today?” Here he sets the scene and confirms that he is just not a very powerful man but also that he is equal.
By choosing to address directly to the students and mention almost every grade and giving a sense of familiarity, he does not talk down to the audience, and it shows a kind of compassion. It captures the student’s attention. In this sentence there arises attention from Obama to all the students: “And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, (…). I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, (…)” Obama is also using some quotes, which appeals to the young readers. By telling the story of him when he was a boy and did not want to get up early to be homeschooled by his mother he elucidate that he is not an ordinary man. Once he was like all ordinary students. Such as referring to the Xbox shows that Barack Obama is within the same cultural frame of reference as the young students. The three appeal forms are all used in the speech: pathos, logos and ethos. Barack Obama uses the pathos to connect with the young students, so he can explain to them how he experiences the important of education. Especial he uses the pathos, when he is talking about some of the students who are having a hard time taking an education. When he tells some of his own stories, he also appeals to the reader’s pathos. By saying that he had a hard time too, the students realize or imagine that it can be possible to obtain something big in their lives. In this sentence the pathos is obviously: “We need every single one of you (…)” Obama also uses logos in his speech; he uses it to appeal to the student’s logic.
He says in his speech, that a good education is important for having a good job. At least he uses ethos by stressing how important an education is for the people, but also for the country. The following sentence shows the use of the appeals, especial pathos and ethos: “The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s a people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.” The arguments in the speech are reliable, because he does his duty. He tries to convince people about the important of education, and he is doing a good job. He uses examples from real life, and like I have mentioned before, he convinces the students of that they get to be as Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell, because it is that worth. The message in the speech is very clear and apparent: Work hard! Get a good education! An education is the key to getting a good job and good jobs ensure a future for the individual and the country. To conclude he states that he is aware of how difficult and harsh life sometimes can be and that he has h
ad troubles himself but that it is possible to break the negative social heritage. He admits that someone over other have it worse because of their social, cultural or financial capitals but as Obama declare “That’s no excuse for not trying”. And if we look on the political part of it, this is a typical American value. As a matter of fact Barack Obama even talks about the American dream, which is based on the saying “everyone is the architect of his own fortune.” Yes, the speech has a very American attitude and view on life, but as we all the truth is that knowledge shall show the world the way to greatness.