John F. Kennedy's Presidency

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What charged words used in JFK's inaugrual speech inspire and add impact? For a language study

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Charged words are meant to evoke strong emotions from an audience. In this case, Kennedy is trying, in his inaugural address, to support an emotionally positive and idealistic vision of a world in which the United States, rather than the Soviet Union, is the leader. He also uses words that appeal strongly to the history and patriotism of the American people. Charged words include "freedom" and "free" (which he uses several times), as well as "liberty." Kennedy also alludes more than once to the American revolution, which, of course, is strongly associated with the concepts of freedom and liberty.

Kennedy also uses "free" or "freedom" in juxtaposition with battling poverty. He employs charged language when he says:

To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help . . .

Words such as "struggling," "break the bonds," "mass misery," and "best" imply American superiority to those people in "huts and villages," and position American power and wealth as resources which will be used to the utmost to save the rest of the world.

Kennedy also uses the charged words "peace" or "peaceful" five times, surrounding those words with a vision of American military might defending the good. He uses "God" three times, enlisting the deity as on the side of Americans. He ends the speech with an emotional...

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