Ethos is all about credibility and ethics. Recognizing his immediate audience to be scientists, professors, and students, yet acknowledging that he is addressing the American public at large, he combines both technical language and specific scientific detail with broad, rhetorically-flourished, yet easily comprehensible statements.
Failure to reach the Moon would not just be a failure in technological or scientific terms, it would be a failure on the part of the American people, American spirit, and the premise of the United States of America.
In it, I endeavor to point out the elements which allow this speech to still resonate strongly over 60 years past its delivery.Kennedy’s speech can be broken into 4 main parts and points, each of which play a significant role in the overall construction of his message.
Yet this is not just a claim, this is a challenge. "On September 12, 1962, a warm and sunny day, President Kennedy delivered his speech before a crowd of about 40,000 people, at We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people.
This paper briefly analyzes Kennedy’s speech, highlighting its main points and the rhetorical tools he so successfully employed. He begins by addressing the various distinguished guests and members of the audience to whom he is making his speech. He points out the facilities that have opened to support an effort in space exploration, the Saturn rockets which are currently being developed (and, coincidently, which would eventually take American astronauts to the moon), the satellites which America has already put into orbit, and the plethora of high-paying and high-skill jobs which the space industry has already created.
“Space is there, he says, and we’re going to climb it… new hopes for knowledge and peace are there… the greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.” Such is how Kennedy ends his speech, and a compelling conclusion it is.
Indeed, the United States, at the point of his speech, had only been sending men into orbit for less than 5 years. The speech, largely written by Kennedy advisor and speechwriter Ted Sorensen, was intended to persuade the American people to support the Apollo program, the national effort to land a man on the Moon.
For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Rather, a speech is also significant in its delivery, the manner in which it is presented. Rhetorical Analysis of John F. Kennedy’s “We Choose to go to the Moon” Speech In John F. Kennedy’s “We Choose to go to the Moon”, there are multiple examples of rhetorical devices throughout the speech.
His points are soundly supported with not only ideological and political framing throughout, but with the basic human tendencies for discovery and knowledge. Aug. 5, 2020.
To dispel the absurdity of the goal, to make it believable, to make it seem remotely possible to the average American, Kennedy needed to speak with exuberance and passion. Kennedy is challenging his audience and the American public to rise to the occasion, to demonstrate the best of their skills, and to reinforce American leadership as an innovative power. On September 12th, 1962, President John F. Kennedy ascended a podium in front of a large crowd gathered at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and prepared to give a speech that would dramatically shape the direction of the United States’ efforts over the following decade. Yet he continues his point by stating that the United States has vowed never to see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with “instruments of knowledge and understanding.” Connecting this point with an earlier statement, that “no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space,” politicizes and ideologically frames the American effort of space exploration. Pathos, logos, and ethos opened up JFK’s speech, “We Chose to go to the Moon”, to show how it influenced the American public and others who were listening to help accomplish the goal stated in the speech.
He continues by expressing his gratitude for the opportunity he has been given to speak, and touches upon the prominence of Rice University as a center of learning and knowledge. He again says that he thinks that the moon landings must be done, and that they will be “done while some of you are still here at school… during the term of office of some of the people who sit here on this platform.” Again, Kennedy is tangibly connecting his goal to the lives and experiences of the people listening to the speech, thereby making that goal resonate more strongly with them. Although he called for competition with the The speech resonated widely and is still remembered, although at the time there was disquiet about the cost and value of the Moon-landing effort.
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