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Analysis: John Fritzgerald Kennedy's Speech "The new frontier"

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Analysis: John Fritzgerald Kennedy: The new frontier


The speech The new frontier was held by John F. Kennedy to the Democratic National Convention on July 15, 1960. In this speech, Kennedy speaks about the communistic system of the USSR as the biggest threat for the American society at present.

He starts by speaking about the old frontier. The frontier once was the border between the civilized world in east America and the Wild West. He speaks about the great men who tried to cross the frontier and conquer the land behind it (ll. 2-4) whose motto was all for the common cause (l.5).

After this, he tells that some would say that those struggles are over (l.9), but in his opinion, there is a new frontier now (ll. 12-15). This new frontier the frontier of the 60s (l. 14) is a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils and a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats (ll. 14-15). By saying so, he introduces the next part. Here it becomes obvious, that The new frontier he is speaking about is not something he offers the nation, as his predecessors as presidents did (ll. 16-18), but something he wants to ask the nation (ll. 19-20) (it appeals to their pride, not to their pocketbook ll. 20-21). Also he makes it clear that this frontier is there, whether people want to see it or not (ll.22ff). It is a frontier with positive and with negative things, but of course a frontier that is a challenge for the American people (ll.23-28). Kennedy believes that there are people who just want to be offered more things (ll.33ff), but he also is sure that the Americans will take this frontier as their task (ll.29-33). Then he explains the concrete threat: We must prove all over again whether this nation [] can compete with the single-minded advance of the Communist system (ll.40-43). For him, the important question is, if the American nation will be able to face the communism in an age where we will witness not only new breakthroughs in weapons of destruction but also a race for mastery in the sky and the rain, the ocean and the tides, the far side of space and the inside of mens minds(ll.45-58). He says the nation has a choice to make between the public interest and private comfort - between national greatness and national decline [] between determined dedication and creeping mediocrity (ll. 53-56). In his opinion, all mankind is waiting for their decision (ll. 57-58). He appeals to the listener not to fail their trust (l. 58).

So he asks the people to set their personal requirements low, under the requirements of the society. How does convince the listener, how does he make his speech effective?
At first, he talks about what could be called the old frontier, the border to the wild west, and talks about the pioneers who gave up their safety, their comfort, and sometimes their lives to build a new world here in the west (ll.2-3). Because of introducing the speech with this, the listener later remembers that he as an American is in the tradition of these pioneers and should act like them by helping to cross The new frontier. Then Kennedy says a negative thing that could happen, e.g. in ll. 9-11 or 22-28, but directly after that says that this will not happen by using the phrases I trust (l. 12) or I believe (l. 29), so that the listener feels some pride because of Kennedys trust and believe in him, so that he does not want to disappoint Kennedy. Also Kennedy at first does not say what the clear problem is, he mentions the Communist system in l. 43 for the first time, after talking a lot about the frontier. By the rhetoric questions in ll. 49-51 he asks the listener if we are able to do something. By using the word we, he associates with the listener to make him feel that they together are the American people. This lets the listener feel to belong to the society and to feel working for it as an honour-duty, and he does not want to disappoint Kennedy and with him the whole society. And by the last two sentences, this is even being strengthened, because then the listener is not only disappointing his own society, but all mankind.
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Es handelt sich hierbei um die Analyse der Rede "The new Frontier" von John F. Kennedy auf Englisch. (727 Wörter)
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26.09.2005 von moescheck
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