Wednesday, February 29, 2012

John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address, 1961

How does the author appeal to logos (logic), pathos (emotional quality), and ethos (the writer’s perceived character) with their argument?

The author is arguing how the world needs freedom and the only way we can achieve that is together and not divided. He suggest we study the stars together instead of making arms that are a higher level each time to the point where all the people would die if there was a nuclear war. Kennedy offered this type of relationship between the different countries while reflecting on the past century and their mistakes and achievements. Aside from the benefit of freedom being influencing collaboration on studies the author argues this because he believed it would help poorer people in poor countries because it the right thing to do not because of communism or to pledge for votes.

How does the author appeal to logos (logic), pathos (emotional quality), and ethos (the writer’s perceived character) with their argument?

The author appealed to the logic when he suggested team up with foreign nations for good for research rather than having had an arms race that endangered the world. This appears to the logic because people look for a leader to make sense of the issues and Kennedy does that here by being logical. The author appeals to the emotional quality by addressing all classes from around the geographical world. He does this by talking about the people who live in huts and their lives needing aid as well, he appeals to the pathos by doing that. The author appeals to ethos by supporting his role as a politician and his duties to the community by addressing past issues along with current ones and offers solutions for the people.

 What is the historical significance/relevance of this document?

 The inaugural address document by John F. Kennedy is important to history because it gives an idea of how he responded to issues an lets us see if those ideas were fulfilled and effective, it lets us know what he achieved that he promised, if he really created any programs to help the third world places around the world where people live in huts. The document informs people on what perspective the Kennedy had and what he accomplished.

 Do you find the authors argument convincing?

I find the authors argument convincing because he offers a logical solution and to the issues and I personally like when people don’t try to convince me with fancy words but states an issues and informs the audience what they will do to solve it and if it is reasonable and it is then I agree. I think that the argument would be more convincing if the authors was more detailed about what exactly he plans to do like for the people who live in huts, I think he should have told us how he was planning to improve their lives whether that providing financial aid to those countries or launching any educational programs to help the people their become more educated. Another example would be what he was going to do about the countries that didn’t want to collaborate on studies but try to destroy the others.


  1. Good break down of the text reading! I think that alot of what you said, was what I was thinking while I was reading over the document. From the start of the reading, you are able to tell that Kennedy has alot of pride in his country and that it will be much more of a successful with cooperation and unity. I agree with you that Kennedy provides alot of passion towards his logic to unite nations and create a better America. When Kennedy says "ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country" it really shows the extend of the critical thinking and analysis of his opinion. I also think that his argument was convincing because of his logical procedures to success. It seems as if he put alot of effort and thought in to the topic.

  2. Hello Lilly, I enjoyed reading what your interpretation was on the Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy. I like a lot of the view points that you make and I agree with a lot of it. I like the way you presented logos, pathos, and ethos and taking specific points instead of generalization. Really like how you made your point on weather his argument was convincing or not.
    In the speech I see that Kennedy was really aiming to strive to keep world peace, but instead bring out point of how to achieve and solve problems is by sticking together and working them out together, instead of one country trying to dominate the other. I really like the statement that he uses by saying “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” I see that through this we negotiate and be afraid to lower your self a little to allow peace to many people.
    In this quote as well I see much logic of Kennedy, in his speech I noticed a lot that he really sees that he wants to strive to keep America a democracy, and that know one will take over America, but at the same time he understands so that there will be peace you need to be able to work to together so that more problems would not arise. I also see pathos and in his speech a lot because he uses a lot of words that make a picture in your mind and tries to show of a better world that there can be. He show that we need to learn to take care of each other as he says, “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor it cannot save the few who are rich”. He brings attention to other countries as well and those people who do not have as well of living themselves, but he doesn’t just want to help them and give them everything they need but “help them help themselves”. I see in this ethos as well John F. Kennedy’s characteristic as a caring president. That he doesn’t just care about himself but other as well.
    Lilly, I also really like how you stated the importance of this document. This is a checklist for him and America to see what he wanted to accomplish and what he actually did weather he really did try to like up to what he said.
    I also like how you brought a good point in that his argument was convincing, but if he mentioned more specific steps that he would take to accomplish the Goals it would have added even more power to his speech.
    But I enjoyed reading Kennedys speech and see much power and that he see much more great things to come in the future years.

  3. Lilya I'd like to add to your ethos discussion of point two that Kennedy's character was evident when he added himself to the list of citizens responsible for our country. He specifically says "all of this [work] will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,100 days, nor in the life of the administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet." He displys humility at the awareness of the magnitude of the task. He doesn't expect it to be completed, but he certainly demands that we start. These all exemplify his work ethic and the drive of his character.

  4. Liliya I really enjoyed reading your discussion on Kennedy's speech. It seems as you understood the reading and have a lot to say about it. I want to say good job on discussing the pathos logos and ethos. I thought you did a very nice job discribing them. In kennedy's speech you can see that he wanted everyone to work together and he wanted it to be done in a peaceful manner. Also in his speech you can tell he was some what poud of his nation and for his country. I feel like his speech has a lot of emotion and thought that reaches out to people.

  5. Liliya, I thought that your summary was very well written and you answered the questions with lots of detail. I like how you summarized the whole Inagural Address with as much detail as possible. I also agree with you on how you said that JFK appealed to the audience in an emotional way by talking about the aid that some people need because this clearly shows that JFK was a caring president of his country. I think your reason for why this is important in history is very correct because you mentioined it informs us about what Kennedy believed and what he had accomplished which is exactly what I think the purpose of it was. The last thing that was interesting to me was how you said the reason you found it to be convincing was because it didnt use fancy words but instead informed you on an issue and gave logical reasons to it. I think I am the same way, I would rather have people convince me by giving me logical and explainative reasons rather than big fancy words to get their point accross.