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A Neo-Aristotelian Analysis of Ronald Reagan’s: The Challenger Disaster

Uploaded by JeepJess on Oct 05, 2002

While seated in the Oval Office of the White house, January 28, 1986 President Ronald Reagan delivers his speech The Challenger Disaster; hours after the space shuttle The Challenger explodes while in take off. Thousands witnessed this horrifying event live in person and on television. This mission was very unique allowing the first civilian to ever be allowed in space during a mission. She was aboard The Challenger as an observer in the NASA Teacher in Space Program. Ironically, nineteen years before this disaster, three astronauts were tragically lost in an accident on the ground. President Reagan remembers those astronauts that were lost not only the day of the disaster, but also those who were lost nineteen years before. He conducts this speech not only to mourn the death of The Challenger astronauts, but for the families and those who were impacted from this event. He especially calls out to the schoolchildren of America who were watching this event live as the shuttle took off. As the President of the United States, Reagan earned the nickname "The Great Communicator" due to his ability to convey his beliefs concerning economic and domestic policies to the public. This speech is just one example of how well Reagan spoke to the American public on a personal level and profoundly influenced the nations confidence in itself after this tragic event.

Reagan used his speaking ability to explain the important policies of his administration. “Speaking directly to the American people as a "citizen-president," Reagan delivered addresses that conveyed his views of national security, the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), economic policies, and the nation's war on drugs. Delivered with sincerity uncharacteristic of the stereotypical politician” (http://reagan.webteamone.com). The Challenger Disaster is just another example of Reagan’s profound speaking abilities. This speech has meaning, excites emotions and reaches out to all, which makes it a great speech. Although Reagan chooses to ignore his administrations responsibility in The Challenger disaster, he concentrates instead on reassurance of the nation which makes this speech uplifting to the American people.

Invention


To do a rhetorical analysis of this speech we would follow the Neo-Aristotelian approach. The Neo-Aristotelian approach consists of five canons which are invention, organization, style, memory and delivery. First I will start off with Invention. According to Foss “the critic’s concern in applying the canon of invention is with the speaker’s major ideas, line of argument, or content” (29). Invention is divided...

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Uploaded by:   JeepJess

Date:   10/05/2002

Category:   American History

Length:   8 pages (1,720 words)

Views:   2124

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