In John F. Kennedy's inaugural address, what are some examples of how ethos is used?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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If we can integrate the concept of ethos into the idea of expressing inherently communal roots, Kennedy's inaugural address helps to bring out the idea of what it means to be "American."  In this light, each time Kennedy invokes the concept of "American" both to and from his audience, one sees an idea of ethos, or goodness and good will emanating from and radiating to the audience.  For example, when Kennedy calls out to the audience as in "My Fellow Americans," there is a sense of ethos being established because of the idea of articulating a sense of community being forged.  In suggesting that Kennedy is the leader of a "new generation of Americans," ethos is established in that there is a shared connection between speaker and audience.  One of the most often quoted lines would also fit this classification:  "And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."  This brings to light both the goodness as well as the link of communality shared between both speaker and audience.

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