Here, we will focus on the language used by Barack Obama in his 2007 speech on reclaiming the American Dream. We will mainly focus on the choice of words, sentence structure, tone, and personal stories.
Choice of words
In his speech, Obama employs many positive adjectives and nouns, which give an optimistic and hopeful note to his speech. He talks about “values and hopes”, “faith”, “dreams”, “opportunity”, “experience”, “future”, and “hope”. These words help the audience understand that, despite a gloomy present, there is still hope for a better future under Obama’s leadership.
At the same time, Obama also uses negative words, such as “burden”, “poverty”, “polarization and division”, and “special interests”. Obama uses these words to show the audience that the current political system is not working for the people but against them, and that the Bush administration is to blame.
When Obama talks about the economy, he uses appropriate words and expressions such as “tax code”, “income”, “payroll”, and “minimum wage”. When he talks about the changes he wants to make in the housing market, he mentions “mortgage fraud”, “foreclosure”, and “interest payment”. You can find more examples of specific vocabulary in the rest of the speech.
Throughout the speech, Obama uses the first-person plural pronoun “we”. Through this, Obama implies that he is not outside the problems that affect the nation but that he is involved, that he und...