Rhetorical Analysis

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Rhetorical analysis of Ronald Reagans' speech about the challenger disaster
Straight from the inauguration of the 1960’s space race, the program of the United States
has been extremely fundamental for diverse Americans. The program was in a better position to
serve as an indicator of American values and more so possibilities (Janice Hocker, pg. 415-433).
Coming to the mid 1980’s, the innovative space shuttle program of America was still a jewel in
the American Progress Crown thus being something to be accorded with celebration.
On the 28th day of January 1986, there was a shake in the status of the illustrious space
program. On that very day, an explosion of the space shuttle challenger occurred, obliterated a
vehicle and finally killed a crew of seven. Ronal Reagan being the President of the United States
was responsible for the response of the rhetoric generated by the Challenger disaster. A call
emerged for the consolation of the living and praising of the dead by the National Tragedy
(Janice Hocker, pg. 424-431). The program was meant for Reagan to restore the faith of fellow
Americans. Drawing facts from the above suggestion, the space program was of profound
relevance with regard to symbolizing the American competence, innovation alongside progress.
Paralleling the Challenger’s material destruction and her crew was consequently the
damage of the symbolic American Doxa. Being a comforter of the Americans and more so the
National father, Reagan was emotionally upright in meeting the emotional needs of five different
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audiences. Inclusive of the United States fallen astronaut families, school kids, NASA and the
Soviet Union. He incorporates ethos in communication of his shock besides grieve to his
American folk in the reassurance of the significance of the program.
Reagan’s speech is seen to be naturally epideictic hence intended to magnify the
relevance of ethos over the prevalent logos. There is a relationship between the characters and
logos as per the drawn depiction. The speech has elements of pathos in line with emotional
feeling of pain and the loss the nation shared regarding the disaster. Reagan acknowledges
components of heroism on the same line mourning with diverse victimized families.
It is also possible to stay away from the truth in great pain. Reagan had the unfortunate
responsibility of reminding Americans that astronauts were deeply involved in their work but on
the same note knew the risks to be encountered, (Ellen Reid, pg. 159-165.). Basing on arguments
of Hauser, people who speak with utmost integrity are trusted because of the virtuous decisions
they make and seem truthful. Such a speech is modest and a statesmanship act is seen in
Reagan’s decision to attend to the critical issues and setting aside the organized state of the
The incorporation of the noun ‘T’ expresses his closeness with the event and also
addresses the affected in a dear way (Mister, Steven pg. 159-161). The speech also expresses
fair-mindedness as from the eloquence in speech observed in Reagan in the poem composed by
American Pilot Magee Jr. Magee’s words are the most recalled in his speech when he talks about
the ‘High Flight’. The words produced different strong emotional feelings. Reagan commenced
by mentioning the slip of the astronauts to the earth’s bonds and more so touching the face of
God. The words used gave a redefinition of the violent fireball following the death observed in
the United States some hours back.
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The introduction elucidates that the Americans were heroes and from the choice of words
used, the entire faiths believe that the deceased Astronauts will have life after death. The nation
was therefore in a problem of responding to the problems that had engulfed the nation instantly
after receiving the breaking news on live TV. The rhetoric emergency existed in two different
folds. The first one was to insist on the nation to have a proper mourn and keep the spirit of the
program burning and then secondly, Reagan emphasizes on the exploration theme throughout his
speech. The theme in question stresses on the mourning framework of the deceased.
Reagan inn his speech represents the entire nation inclusive of those who work for NASA
as one because he generalizes the pain not only to the affected families but nationwide. He also
expounds the feeling and argues that he was also affected at personal level thus being a
justification of concern (Mister, Steven, pg. 158-163.). An elegiac tone is attained when Reagan
names his wife. He therefore noted that the program was in a better position to continue despite
the loss via the determination of Americans because the program symbolized American progress.
The speech seems monumental because it does not only reflect the individual strategy at
personal level but also expresses Americans resolve. The slogan of Americans up to date is that
they do not give up in hard times but they really push on in order to push the American dream
from the philosophy of Ronald Reagan.
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Works Cited
Gold, Ellen Reid. "Ronald Reagan and the oral tradition." Communication Studies 39.3-4 (1988):
Mister, Steven M. "Reagan's Challenger tribute: Combining generic constraints and situational
demands." Communication Studies 37.3 (1986): 158-165.
Rushing, Janice Hocker. "Ronald Reagan's “Star Wars” address: Mythic containment of
technical reasoning." Quarterly Journal of Speech 72.4 (1986): 415-433.
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