The said “Yes we can” (II. 5,7, 9,11)

The quotation can be divided
in 3 parts. The first one (II. 1 – 5) meanings as an overview to stress the meaning
of hope (cf. II. If) and to depict a self – confident and pugnacious image of
the spirit of the American people who according to Obama defy every assumption
that describes an American aim or ideal as unreachable (cf. II. 3ff). Furthermore,
he induces the term “Yes we can” (I. 5) which is repeated several
times in the speeches remain. In the following part (II. 6 – 14) Obama refers
to different occurrences in the history of America, which are all associated
with a fight for change or an aim that seemed to be out of reach. By using an
anaphora and starting every sentence with the words “It was” he
mentions the Declaration of Independence (cf. I. 6), the abolition of slavery
(cf. I. 8), the settlement of North America (cf. I. 10), the first lunar
landing (cf. 1.13) and some more. By claiming the people who enabled this
change to have said “Yes we can” (II. 5,7, 9,11) he reinforces the
terms meaning. In addition, he uses allusions to refer to those events, like
“A President who chose the moon as our new frontier” (1.13) or
“A King who took us to the mountaintop …” (II. 13f). With these sentences,
he alludes to John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, respectively. The last
part (II. 15 – 25) deals with the possibilities which according Obama the
American nation has. In line 15 he takes use of a parallelism and thereby
mentions justice, equality, opportunity and prosperity, which are all elements
of the American Dream. The following line includes a climax (“Yes we can
heal this nation. Yes we can repair this world” (I. 16)) and once again a
repetition of the term “Yes we can”. Besides the statement
“… we can heal this nation” implicates that the nation is
metaphorically speaking diseased. This can be understood as a dig at the
current government. In the next lines, he tries to create a feeling of belonging
by comparing the situation of American citizens from different places
concluding that they are “not as divides as their politics suggest”
(I. 22) and underlining that they are “one people” (I. 23) that
“will begin the great next chapter in America’s story” (I. 23f). This
proposition also stands for a change. Obama ends his speech with emphasizing
the term “Yes. We. Can.” (I. 25) one more time by putting every word
in a single sentence. Just before he quotes the sentence “from sea to
shining sea” ( I. 24f) and alludes to the patriotic song “America the
Beautiful” this way. The song enjoys great popularity in the American
community so that Obama underlines his affinity to it with the quotation.

In my opinion Obama’s speech
is pretty good and may achieve the aim of convincing the audience that there’s
the need and the possibility of a change. 

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