Analysis of Obama’s Victory Speech
The presidential victory speech delivered by Barack Obama who is the president to be was held on November 4, 2008, in Grant Park, Chicago. It is about his won election for the office as the president. I will take a closer look on how Obama emphasizes his speech with stylistic devices.
The speech is divided into four parts. The first part is from ll. 1-26, the second from ll. 27- 70, the third from ll. 71-9 and the last from ll. 95-105.
In the first part of the speech Obama uses many stylistic devices. He makes repetitions (“three hours, four hours”, l. 0), (“Blue States”, l. 20, “United States”, l. 21) to underline his ideas and to emphasize that people waited long to have the chance to vote even for the first time (ll. 7-13) and that the USA is one state (ll. 18-21). He also uses a metaphor (“arc of history”, l. 25) to evoke the picture of a unity that hopes together and that believes as one in the American Dream. Obama also refers to the American Dream in the first lines where he wants the audience to think about it and he wants the listeners to ask themselves if they believe in it.
He tries to get the attention by addressing the audience (“If there is anyone out there… ”, l. 1). In addition to that he makes many anaphoras (“who still”, ll. 1,3,4) to underline the importance of the American Dream to the Nation. With an enumeration (ll. 14-17) he shows that everyone not only the rich but also the poor have something to say and have a choice. In the middle section of the speech Obama uses personifications (“… the enormity of the task that lies ahead. ”, l. 40) to point out the importance of the things that have to be done.
With an enumeration (“l. 45) he involves the audience to show them which work they have to expect. Another point is that he uses repetitions (“I will” , ll. 51, 52, 53) and (“There”, l. 50) to make the listeners understand that he will be there for everyone and that he will never leave them with no hope. With a metaphor (“… if Americas beacon still burns as bright-… ”, l. 67) he tries to give the people hope that America will always be the same strong Nation as it was.
The third part starts with an example of a women (ll. 3-79) with which Obama wants the listeners identify with him and wants to show that he is just a human being as everyone else. After the example fallows an enumeration (ll. 80- 82) which emphasizes the strengths with which the women stands for her country because there were many things which she had seen but it is an example which says that she never lost her faith and that everyone else should act like her. The repetition (“New”, l. 86) shows that Obama wants to create something new and wants the audience to feel so, too.
He arouses the audience`s emotions in giving the anaphora “Yes we can” (ll. 82, 84, 86, 88, 90, 94, 104) which he uses very often to stabilize the feeling of triumph in the listeners and to make them want to feel supported that they want to and can change something. With another enumerations (ll. 91-92) Obama wants to tell everyone what happened in the world which was from importance and that this little thing a women did (“ And in this year, in this election, she touched her finger on a screen, and cast her vote,… ”, ll. 92. 3) is as important as moving events in the world`s history.
The last part is emphasized by Obama because he gives rhetorical questions (“…, what change will they see? ”, l. 97, “What progress will we have made? ”, ll. 97-98) that should make the people think about what they did, what they changed and what they will change. In the last sentences Obama uses many anaphoras (“ This is our”, l. 99), and repetitions (“to”, ll. 99, 100, 101, “we”, l. 102) to give the importance of his last words and to make the readers listen to what he has to say what is important.
He tries to wake the readers up and wants to give the message of of his speech across. That nobody has to be afraid to loose because if he tries he can win. In the last sentence he thanks the audience in the way if saying that God watches everyone. To say this he uses another repetition (“God”, l. 105) to make the audience clear that he really wants the best for everyone. To conclude Obama wants to make his speech understood and he wants to get his message across by using many stylistic devices and examples where he always refers to the American Dream.