Joe Biden's Inaugural Address

This study guide will help you analyze Joe Biden’s 2021 Inaugural Address. In addition to help for your analysis, you can find a summary of the text and ideas for discussing it and putting it into perspective.

Joe Biden (b. 1942) is the 46th President of the United States of America. He delivered his inaugural address when he took office in January 2021 after running for president as the Democratic candidate against former Republican president Donald Trump. He was also the 47th Vice President under President Barack Obama. 

Extract

Here, you can read an extract from our study guide: 

Direct Address

Throughout the speech, Biden often addresses the audience directly. The first line of the speech is used to acknowledge the audience several notable members of the audience as well as the audience at large: “my fellow Americans”. Biden also addresses the audience directly referring to them as his friends: “And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed”. These terms of address help to make Biden appear approachable.

Biden most often uses the pronoun “we” to refer to the audience, for example: “We look ahead in our uniquely American way – restless, bold, optimistic – and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be”. The use of this pronoun highlights Biden’s identity as an American, showing that he is an American citizen first, and a president second. This makes him seem humble and approachable. It also helps to highlight the central topic of the text: unity. Biden aims to show that he is part of “We the People” that must work together to create a united America: “We must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you, we will not fail. We have never, ever, ever failed in America when we have acted together”. 

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Joe Biden's Inaugural Address

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