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Rhetorical Analysis on Jfk's Commentary of Increasing Steel Price

Autor:   •  February 9, 2018  •  Essay  •  966 Words (4 Pages)  •  304 Views

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America was confronted with both domestic and international struggles in 1962. While the nation’s largest steel companies promoted a hike in the steel price, President John F. Kennedy strongly advocated stable prices in this particular period of time. He uses concrete evidence, logical reasoning, and persuasive appeals in this commentary to condemn the selfish behavior of those steel oligarchs, call for national sacrifice, and express his great concern on people’s lives superior to certain industry’s self-interests. The potential audience would be two group of people: the patriotic citizens and irresponsible millionaires.

Kennedy appeals to patriotism to promote national sacrifice among the audience. He uses parallel in the second paragraph, such as ”when we are confronted with grave crisis…., when we are devoting our energies to economic recovery and stability…, at a time when restraint and sacrifice are being asked of every citizen” to establish a series of consequences out of price raise.

The paralleled factual information highlights various cases of sacrifice of the people’s, especially the ordinary people’s sacrifice during hardships of the nation’s well being, and thus appeal to audience’s patriotism, impelling them to realize the importance of national sacrifice---not for themselves but for the whole country. Such feeling of collectivism is an efficient method to unify people during depressions.

Descriptions such as serviceman risking their lives, union members lowering their wages show that the whole nation is dedicated to make certain compromise to help the nation cope with the current crisis. Faced with such sufficient examples of generous sacrifice made by every American, steel companies that rises price in this tough period for their own interests would feel ashamed of their decision and may thus agree with Kennedy’s opinion that they should also make sacrifice to benefit the country instead of bringing further burdens to the economy. Only when the companies themselves had realized their responsibility would they lower the steel price and help the nation recover from recession.

After evoking the social responsibility among his audience through various evidences, Kennedy also utilizes logical reasoning and factual evidences to strengthen his argument.

He hypothesizes the situation if the rest of the economy all imitate the rise of cost in the steel industry, and then deducts the possible consequence of wasting previous efforts against inflationary spirals that exhausts old citizen’s pension and weakens purchasing power. This illustrates that the rising costs by no means benefit the country to recover its economy but only burdens the recovery process, which supports Kennedy’s claim that the increasing steel prices has no justification. Here, he explicitly shows his stance on the problem that he is in support


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