In this section of the study guide, we will consider Barack Obama’s intentions while delivering his 2007 speech on reclaiming the American Dream.

Obama’s main intention is to show the general public the importance of reclaiming the American Dream, in order to gain their support in the upcoming election. Obama uses pathos as a form of appeal when he talks about the struggles of citizens and provokes the feeling of empathy. In the following example, he demonstrates that he understands why the dreams of ordinary citizens are important and need fought for:

You know it from your own lives. Americans are working harder for less and paying more for health care and college. For most folks, one income isn't enough to raise a family and send your kids to college. Sometimes, two incomes aren't enough. It's harder to save. It's harder to retire. You're doing your part, you're meeting your responsibilities, but it always seems like you're treading water or falling behind. (ll. 54-59)

Then, Obama’s intention is to demonstrate that George W. Bush is an inadequate President whose failed policies bring ...

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