Barack Obama's speech “A More Perfect Union” is a political speech that focuses on race relations in the US. Here is an overview of our analysis of this speech.
In our analysis of the speech, we will discuss the topic of race relations and illustrate how the speaker uses a two-fold structure to convey how African Americans and white Americans feel about each other. As a speaker, the presidential candidate Barack Obama targets both the audience present at the speech and the general American public (namely American voters).
Obama's intention is to gain the audience’s support by clarifying the role of race in his campaign, distancing himself from his pastor (who made some controversial accusations targeting white Americans), and inspiring the American people to take action to overcome racial tensions through positive actions to build a better future.
In the analysis, we will also look at the circumstances of the speech, focusing on the fact that the speech is part of an electoral campaign, but also a response to a scandal involving the speaker’s pastor.
Finally, we will look at the language and rhetorical devices the speaker uses to convey his views in a more convincing and appealing manner, such as his appeal to trust, his use of historical allusions or emphatic enumerations.
You can read the full analysis of the speech in what follows.