What are some examples of literary devices in JFK's New Frontier Speech?

1 Answer | Add Yours

teachsuccess's profile pic

teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Hello! Some examples of literary devices in JFK's New Frontier Speech are:

1) Ethos

JFK quotes Isaiah 40:31 towards the end of his speech. With this quote, he leaves his audience confident that he is a sincere man of faith who wishes to lead his nation to future prosperity and success. Earlier in his speech, he quotes Joshua 1:9 and invites his audience to walk with him through the New Frontier. He invites those who are 'young in heart' and 'stout in spirit' to be pioneers with him. Using this Bible verse, JFK is able to appeal to his listeners' best spirit; instinctively he makes each listener feel that he is referring to them, that they are the courageous ones he wants by his side.

2) Polysyndeton

JFK uses this rhetorical tool for emphasis throughout his speech. Polysyndeton is a rhetorical device which uses coordinating conjunctions (and, or, but, etc.) between every word.

But I believe that the times require imagination and courage and perseverance.
Perhaps he could carry on the party policies, the policies of Nixon and Benson and Dirksen and Goldwater.

3) Amplification/Repetition

JFK uses repetition to insist that his cause is just and his vision of a new America necessary.

It is time, in short -- It is time, in short, for a new generation of leadership.

A tired nation -- A tired nation, said David Lloyd George, is a Tory nation. And the United States today cannot afford to be either tired or Tory.

I am grateful, too -- I am grateful, too, that you have provided us with such a strong platform to stand on and to run on.

4) Analogy

JFK tells us that to let Nixon win the presidency just because he is Eisenhower's vice president would be disastrous. He makes full use of analogies to plead for the voters to choose wisely.

For just as historians tell us that Richard the First was not fit to fill the shoes of the bold Henry the Second, and that Richard Cromwell was not fit to wear the mantle of his uncle, they might add in future years that Richard Nixon did not measure up to the footsteps of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

5) Pathos:

JFK appeals to emotion, playing on his voters' sense of guilt at letting the following situation continue in America.

For the families forced from the farm do not need to tell us of their plight. The unemployed miners and textile workers know that the decision is before them in November. The old people without medical care, the families without a decent home, the parents of children without a decent school: They all know that it's time for a change.

6) Metaphor

JFK compares his New Frontier to the opening up of the West, the Last Frontier. He appeals to his listeners' resolve to be courageous in embracing his ideas for a better country.

From the lands that stretch three thousand miles behind us, the pioneers gave up their safety, their comfort and sometimes their lives to build our new West. They were not the captives of their own doubts, nor the prisoners of their own price tags. They were determined to make the new world strong and free -- an example to the world, to overcome its hazards and its hardships, to conquer the enemies that threatened from within and without.

Hope this helps. Thanks for the question. If you want more examples of literary devices, there's a great page below which explains many types of literary devices for you.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,996 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question