Overcoming the Great Depression: Critical Analysis

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After the stock market crash in 1929, America was sent into a state of depression for many years. There seemed to be no end to the everlasting misery. On March 4, 1993, Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated into office and delivered his first inauguration speech to America. Before elected, Roosevelt was the governor of New York and gained political popularity through his confidence and optimism in the country's future; he also believed in the need to restore America’s fundamental values. Roosevelt became the 32nd President of the United States and was popularly known for his New Deal Program; he helped America out of the Great Depression as well as World War II. In Roosevelt’s speech he utilizes his political authority in order to strengthen his image as a future leader as well as motivate the nation for reform. Roosevelt’s use of ethos and metaphor allows him to gain the trust of the nation to help unify them against the Great Depression.

Roosevelt effectively strengthens his credibility among Americans using ethos, which allows him to show off his plans to restore the nation from the Depression. In his speech, Roosevelt reassures the audience of his ability to be their President by discussing the power the Constitution holds and his plan for utilizing it to the country’s advantage. For example, Roosevelt expresses how he is “prepared under my constitutional duty” to fulfill the needs “a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require” (Roosevelt 4). By mentioning his preparedness for becoming President, Roosevelt is able to convey his credibility in taking on the task of helping restore the nation. His role as President gives him the authority to fulfill the needs of the people which is a part of his “constitutional duty”, and he says he is what is needed in this “stricken world” to bring America back to its full power. In doing so Roosevelt is able to form a connection with the audience while also proving his commitment to them. Roosevelt continues to appeal to the audience through more uses of ethos to express his dedication to the Presidency. He states that with the “trust reposed in me” he will “return the courage and the devotion” suitable to America’s needs and continues by reassuring he “can do no less” (Roosevelt 4). When a new President is elected, people expect them to be devoted to their job and ready to take on the responsibilities which come with it, and Roosevelt does this by assuring the audience he will follow through with his commitment. Roosevelt pledges his faithfulness to America when he discusses his “devotion” to the country and in doing so he continues to strengthen his trust with the audience. He develops his relationship with Americans by saying he “can do no less” and by also using a firm yet assuring tone he will help the country out of the Depression by doing anything he can. Through his use of ethos, Roosevelt is able to connect with the audience and prove his credibility as a strong leader for the nation and a key component in helping America.

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In his inauguration speech, Roosevelt’s use of metaphors helps him convey a sense of unity among the people as well as a sense of urgency to come together and help end the Great Depression. He effectively displays his ideas on unification through metaphors and is able to solidify his ideals into the minds of the people. Roosevelt talks about how he now realizes the “interdependence on each other” which we have and how because of that “we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of common discipline” and continues by saying “without such discipline no progress can be made” (Roosevelt 4). Roosevelt gives the example of the American people being an “army” and how in order for them to succeed they need to fight the war which, in this case, is the Great Depression. His influence and confidence over the country also allows him to send the message more directly to the people. Roosevelt further compares the nation to an army against one common enemy, the Great Depression. He explains how he will “assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army” after taking on his role in office as President, and they will be “dedicated to a disciplined attack on our common problems” (Roosevelt 4). Roosevelt is indicating how with his guidance and the governments support; he will be able to turn the country around and out of the Depression. His comparison of the American people as an army also allows him to develop his message of where there is strength in unity which he believes is another key factor in helping them bring the Depression to an end. Roosevelt continues to develop his credibility as the President of the nation by explaining how he will use his new role for the betterment of society. The metaphors Roosevelt uses emphasize the importance of unity to reach a common goal and strengthens his image as the nation’s leader.

Throughout his speech, Roosevelt’s credibility and figurative language gives him the ability to gain trust from the nation which allows him to motivate the audience on overcoming the Great Depression. He pacifies the nation by affirming his dedication to the Presidency and how it is his constitutional duty to help promote the welfare of the people. With unity comes strength and Roosevelt makes that clear to the audience. Coming together to defeat a common enemy can help generate positive reform. After this speech, Roosevelt implemented his first program known as the New Deal, which improved many sectors of American society, and even led to the end of the Depression. Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio when he was 39 and passed away years after in 1945 after being elected for his 3rd term as President which was never done before. People across the country see Roosevelt as one of the nation's best Presidents because of the connection he formed with the American people through his famous Fireside Chats, and there are memorials located throughout America to commemorate him including the more popular memorial in Washington D.C. Many of Roosevelts policies still exist today and millions of Americans continue to reap the benefits through programs like Social Security and the National Labor Relations Board. Roosevelt lives in the heart of American democracy as he helped set up the government’s relationship with the people, and his first inauguration speech is believed to be one of the greatest speeches in Americas history.

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Overcoming the Great Depression: Critical Analysis. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/overcoming-the-great-depression-critical-analysis/
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