Dramatically Speaking: Notes on a JFK Speech

Pineapples are spikey and intimidating on the outside, but on the inside, they are one of the sweetest fruits known to man.

The same fruit, when looked at two different ways, has characteristics leading to two different interpretations of the same thing. The same can be said for a speech when being read opposed to when being listened to. Not unlike pineapples, speeches can be seen in two different ways based on how they are presented. The pace, repetition, and emotion of a speech differ depending on if the speech is read or listened to.

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When a speech is read there are different elements expressed in different ways than when the same speech is listened to. When a speech is being interpreted by a first-hand witness, there is an opportunity for the speech to be comprehended at a personal pace, but, when listening to one, the control is a power only the speaker has. John F. Kennedy had added elements to his speech that were not present during a personal experience with that same piece.

In an example of a personal added pace to the speech, “We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom — symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning — signifying renewal, as well as change.” (Kennedy). Many characteristics were done by the writer of the speech to influence the rate at which the writing is accounted for. The case at hand shows John F. Kennedy using grammatical marks to set a pace in the introduction sentence of his speech. In the sentence, there are several dashes, which represent a short pause in the sentence in order to get the reader to think about the words that had been previously stated. Kennedy also had commas in the sentence as a way to separate and list ideas in an order that is done to make sure that the reader does not get confused.

Using grammar is one of the written strategies used by John F. Kennedy in his Inaugural Address. The way Kennedy’s speech is read out loud takes an oppositional point of vie.

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