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John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Speech of 1961

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There is no power in silence, as change cannot transpire if the issue is not voiced and heard. John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural speech of 1961, explores his intentions as president for the future of America and the world through a powerful and compelling voice. Kennedy, consecutively addresses different audiences to bring about a variety of perspectives and concerning issues to his extended audience. On the contrary, Indira Gandhi’s speech ‘The True Liberation of Women’ (1980), advocates for the equal rights of women. She does this not as a feminine feminist, but as a prominent leader that believes the liberation of women can only become a reality with the right mindset among all citizens. Furthermore, the last scene of the film ‘The Great Dictator’ (1940), directed by Charlie Chaplin heavily satirises the Nazi Party and Hitler to evoke emotion within the audience and ultimately cultivate change. His demanding voice also offers a different perspective of World War 2 by giving hope of the future. Both speeches and the film, initiate the responder to ponder on the issues they are advocating for and encourages the audience to take action during the time period through their distinctive voices.

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A unique and popular voice is able to highlight significant social and political issues resulting in increased awareness amongst the audience. This is evidently portrayed in John F. Kennedy (J.F.K) inaugural speech of 1961, whereby he captivated the masses with his promise of ‘hope’ for a sustainable future and commitment to peace rather than war. He reveals his intentions as president by the constant reference to ‘Almighty God’, this sets his serious tone that adds weight and importance to his address and establishes the significance of the occasion and appeals to his God fearing audience. JFK offers a variety of perspectives by addressing different audiences “To those” “old allies… new states… people in huts… sister republic… world assembly”. The use of anaphora effectively includes Americans and the global extended audience, this exemplifies his strong voice as it has the power to unite the audience and persuade them to work together towards peace and to become one in the face of the continuous threat of communism. JFK further projects his unique voice by alluding to the cold war with Russia “Both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity”, the use of imagery allows the audience to experience the realities and consequences of any development in the cold war. For this, JFK highlights his commitment by ‘requesting’ peace, which marks his voice as distinct from that of other presidents. Likewise, this idea is exemplified in ‘The Great Dictator’, whereby Chaplin uses high modality language “fight for liberty!” which appeals to the audience’s emotions of freedom as a common human right. Chaplin offers a different perspective on the war through his demanding voice, he calls the audience to action which stirs up a need for change from being treated as ‘machines’, thus alluding to Hitler’s dictatorship. Chaplin follows a great change in tone throughout the scene whereby he begins with a calm voice “I’m sorry”, which gradually increases in pitch and becomes more emotionally involved “Soldiers!” This not only mimics Hitler’s outstanding rhetorical ability in convincing his audience

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