Intention

Barack Obama’s 2008 victory speech explores themes like responsibility, hope, and change. These themes were influenced by Obama being the first African-American to become the US president, but also by the 2008 economic crisis, and the two wars the US was fighting in Afghanistan and Ir…

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Accepting Obama as President

The speaker’s overall intention with the speech is to inspire the American people to accept him as their President and to face the challenges the country was confronted with by assuming responsibility and believing in their power to overcome hardships.

Often, what gives more weight to the speaker’s message and helps him achieve his intentions is the use of rhetorical devices such as rep…

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Confronting the country's challenges

To convince the American people that they should assume more responsibility, Obama first involves them by claiming his victory is their victory. After that, he tells them that change and victory come with responsibilities: “And I know you didn't do this just to win an election. And I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead.” (ll. 70-72).

This is also a form of ethos as…

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