In 1961, the Berlin wall was put up to keep the liberated West Berlin area from the surrounding Soviet controlled East Berlin and East Germany. On June 12, 1987 thousands gathered around the Berlin wall on the liberated West Berlin side to see Mr. Reagan give his address on what he thinks about the Berlin wall and its future.
In his speech Ronald Reagan encourages Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the wall, which was a symbol of the communist maltreatment. Reagan used many forms of rhetorical persuasion in his speech to convince Gorbachev and his backers into starting the deconstruction of the wall that would liberate the europeans to the East and send messages of hope to people everywhere.
In his speech Reagan targeted his audience with impactful rhetoric devices to influence Mr. Gorbachev and the Soviets. He started his speech with the addressing of Mayor Diepgen along with the people present at the wall with him. This puts on the impression Mr. Reagan is a man with values and respect. Reagan continues to bring up past presidents that visited that very wall, one of them was John F. Kennedy along with 2 other presidents, this was his statement word for word, “Twenty-four years ago, President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin…then two other presidents, each in his turn, to Berlin.
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And today I, myself, make my second visit to your city.” In this excerpt from Reagan's speech he uses logos because he said he is following in the footsteps of previous presidents and that he has come by the wall twice, additionally Reagan convinces the audience by saying “It is our duty to speak, in this place, of freedom.” This makes the audience feel a sense of nationalism. Along with this he also spoke a little bit of German a few times in the speech. This makes the audience feel a sense of connection and emotion to Reagan gaining his trust and further leading to the understanding of his point to get the wall torn down.
Reagan tried to relate to the crowd with many different tactics but he also used scare tactics like showing the people the downside of not having freedom like poverty and hunger which in turn could spark a rebellion on the wall giving the people and the leaders of the world a clear look at what having that wall up is really doing to the people on both sides. Reagan is trying to help Germany and he uses Japan and other countries that were majorly affected as a prime example “Japan rose from ruin to become an economic giant. Italy, France, Belgium--virtually every nation in Western Europe saw political and economic rebirth; the European Community was founded."
With Reagan saying this he is trying to plead to the people's senses and get them on his side, he's making them think about what happened in places like Japan with the nuclear bombs and France being completely taken by force and in these examples the people paid the ample price. If the wall is not taken down Germany will pay a similar price and maybe even a farther more subsequential price that could break Germany apart forever causing its people overly immense pain and suffering. Another thing, Reagan used emotional appeal in the essay with him saying “We’re drawn here by the feeling of history in this city, more than 500 years older than our own nation.”
This shows that Reagan cares for Berlin's rich history and wants to save it and in the process shows that his own country doesn't have as rich of a history as Berlin/Germany. This shows to the people that he is willing to put his own country a step back to save Berlin and Germany from breaking apart. This ties back to Reagan's point by him trying to show importance to the well being of germany and that he 100% is willing to put effort forward to save the country and that he's not only there for his own benefit but for the benefit of the country of germany and the city of Berlin. With these proceedings it would further lead to the convincing of getting the wall torn down.
In conclusion, I think Reagan did a commending job on his speech with him targeting his audience with relatable aspects. He also used did use scare tactics like foreshadowing what could happen if they don't get the country of germany united again. One of the more interesting ways he argued his point was with him putting himself as one of them and trying to relate with the history of the country.
Do I think he did a good job of putting his argument of getting the wall taken down? Yes because of him using all those point of connection and self input of the people he personally made a connection with the people which in turn probably made Gorbachev feel guilty about having the wall up. Personally I don't know if everyone thinks the same way I do but thats for others to decide if he had a greater impact on the walls existence because a few years after he said this the wall was taken down and it was considered a victory for germany.
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