JFK Inaugural Speech Critique John Fitzgerald Kennedy Inaugural Speech, delivered in a day so cold one could only see other people’s eyes, is one of the greatest speeches ever delivered by a president of the United States. It’s attention grabber, “We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom–symbolizing an end as well as a beginning–signifying renewal as well as change”, captured the attention of everyone by exclaiming not a victorious party, but to celebrate a new freedom era.
As he continues, he begins to “shout out” other nations and/or group of nations in order of importance from the United States political point of view. Meanwhile he moves on throughout the speech he always mention freedom and peace, making this the objective of the speech. He starts his conclusion by not only talking to United States but also to the entire world, to find freedom and peace. By following an order and never wonder around topics nor to mix topics, he made this speech one that can be followed and one would not get lost.
The main idea of the speech was clearly presented in the speech introduction, the search and beginning of freedom and peace. These ideas of freedom and peace are mentioned repeatedly throughout the speech establishing a line which all the subsequent ideas will follow. The details of the speech come when he begins to talk about a situation, a topic, or a section of the speech in specific. When he mentions the two powers reigning at the time, he them give details of who the powers are and what was happening, and so on he continues focusing each time on a different part of the world politically, socially, or economically.
Although one cannot see the audience, at the end of the speech, the audience is heard shouting and clapping for JFK, meaning that he kept the audience’s attention during the speech. JFK Inaugural Speech memorability lands on the ideas presented, freedom and peace. During the time the speech was delivered few or even none were talking about freedom and peace, but he did talked about freedom and peace, which made this speech a memorable one by being the first to mention this ideas and making them its main idea.
The speech became so memorable we nowadays quote it without even knowing, “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate”, is still a quote one may here hear and there. The vocabulary he used during the speech is not a simple neither complex. The vocabulary he used is one that a high school student could understand. The reason for speech having a vocabulary of this level is because the vast majority of the audience involved adults and young adults.
Very few unfamiliar words were used, although this criterion will depend on the vocabulary knowledge of the person writing the critique. One thing he does well is the use of images. As he speaks, he mentions words which will help the listener picture the speech and create an image of what he is talking about as in this fragment, “And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved”.
From his delivery, the two most remarkable points are his posture and his enunciation. It was a very cold day. The temperature, according to the United States Weather Service was of 10 degrees below freezing (22 Fahrenheit or -5. 5 Celsius), made the task difficult and even more if adding the wind-chill factor, but the fact he was from Massachusetts possibly helped him not to show any sign of cold, neither he trembled or mumble while speaking. John F.
Kennedy had a very noticeable Bostonian accent, but during the speech he managed to “make-up” his accent and only for a few moments one could hear his accent.