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Comparison Of President Bush's RTE Interview And His Address To Congress

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Introduction

´╗┐Bush Speech And RTE Interview Comparison The ability to move and inspire people through oratory is a powerful gift, and never more so than for national leaders at points of national crisis. In such times they are expected to provide direction and leadership for their people. They must project authority and understanding and have the communication skills to carry the nation with them as they set the agenda and tone for the national response. It is no accident that many of the speeches we are most familiar with were made during periods of conflict or other emergency. Yet tone and delivery are also dependent on the circumstances in which the speaker is placed. Formal and informal talk are forms of speech we use in everyday life, but the way we talk to people changes depending on who they are and the circumstances of the conversation. These differences are clearly illustrated when we analyse the supplied extracts from George W Bush?s speech to congress and his later television interview with a reporter for RTE. Much of the contrast between the two examples can be explained by the context of the situation in which they were made. The speech to Congress came just nine days after the attack which destroyed the World Trade Centre buildings in New York. ...read more.

Middle

He further reinforces this by talking about the ?decency of a loving and giving people who have made the grief of strangers their own.? The unspoken intention here is to contrast these examples of selflessness and desire to do good with the actions of those who carried out the 9/11 attacks. The President concludes this section of his speech with another device to drive home the theme of strength through unity. He uses the phrase ?my fellow citizens? to align himself with the whole country before declaring that through their actions over the previous nine days, ?the entire world has seen for itself the state of our Union?...and it is strong.? He pauses for effect at the word Union before delivering the next four words with heavy emphasis. The President then becomes more expansive and introduces a more exaggerated world theme. America is called to ?defend freedom? and he declares that for their enemies, one way or another, ?justice will be done.? He thanks ?the world for its outpouring of support? and uses a rule of three in reference to marking events in England, France and Germany. He is reminding the audience of America?s place and significance in the world, and in hindsight it can be argued that he is laying the ground to build the grand alliance needed to combat this new terrorist threat. ...read more.

Conclusion

Set against the speech to Congress this is a significantly less favourable and controlled situation from the President?s point of view. Rather than setting the agenda this is about trying to convince a much more sceptical audience that what he is doing is correct and still worthy of support. From the beginning of the interview there is a stark contrast with the speech to Congress. Although it is a formal seated interview with a professional reporter the President adopts a much more conversational tone and informal register. There is little sign of the confident, clear and concise delivery to Congress. Instead his idiolect, emphasized by accent, is to the fore with phrases such as, ?there?s bin?, ?gotta lotta?, ?put ?em?, flew ?em? and ?ma office?. Initially there is a strong impression that he either failed to properly prepare for the interview or he was taken off guard by the reporter?s opening question and quite searching tone. The reporter references anger in Ireland over the Iraq war and abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and asks President Bush if he is bothered by what the Irish people think? His reply has an unsure false start, ?Listen (.) I-I-I-I-I hope the Irish people will understand the great values of our country?? and then develops into a quite rambling mixture which distills down to if you think the actions of a few soldiers is representative of America then you do not understand America. ...read more.

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