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Paper Topic:

the four elements of the rhetorical situation in Ronald Reagan

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01 June 2008

Reagan 's Challenger Address : The Analysis of the Rhetorical Situation

Introduction

A rhetorical situation is the context a rhetor enters in to shape an effective message that can resolve an exigence and reach an intended audience (Glenn 3 . The rhetorical situation is a wonderful prism for analysis of Ronald Reagan 's Challenger Speech ' delivered on 28th of January , 1986

Rhetorical Situation : The Rhetor

Any rhetorical situation is characterized by the presence of the four integral components

: the rhetor , the audience , the context , and the message . In Reagan 's speech , the rhetor (Reagan ) clearly realized the importance of his message to the American audience . Furthermore , he found himself under the growing pressure of the unfavorable public opinion . Ladies and Gentlemen , I 'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union , but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans (Reagan . Reagan understood the importance of his regular speeches as a form of communication with his electorate . Simultaneously , Reagan was strangely impervious to public opinion (Schweizer 77 . The rhetor viewed his speech as a symbol of recognition and appreciation of his electoral politics . Reagan has displayed individualism and preparedness to the attacks of his political opponents . The whole Reagan 's speech was aimed at protecting the relevance of his space initiatives : We don 't hide our space program We don 't keep secrets and cover things up (Reagan . The rhetor had to ensure that the audience realized the permanence of the U .S . space policies

The Audience

By 1986 , Reagan 's space program has generated arduous societal debate The audience was doubtful of whether the space program could work for the best of the American nation . Challenger 's catastrophe has almost convinced the audience that the space era of Ronald Reagan had come to an end . Reagan evidently tried to refute that idea : we 'll continue our quest in space . There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and , yes , more volunteers , more civilians , more teachers in space (Reagan . However , the audience fully realized the scope and the consequences of the Challenger disaster : the accident stopped what was evolving and turned much of the attention to recovery (Broad 3

The Context

The speech was delivered in the context of the growing civilian tension : the seven dead members of the Shuttle Challenger 's crew have forever broken the U .S . space history into the two distinct stages before ' and after ' the catastrophe . Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades . And we know of your anguish . We share it (Reagan . Ronald Reagan has been able to fit his speech to its context : in the middle between before ' and after , Reagan had to address the continuous pain and growing political doubts of his electorate . In that anguishing context , Reagan 's speech has turned into the symbol of unity between the President and the nation

The Message (medium

The...

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