Rhetorical devices

Allusions and direct references

Allusions and direct references are used several times in Kamala Harris’ Inauguration Speech. Harris uses allusions and direct references when she talks about the most important historical figures and events that have helped shape the nation. When she says “We shoot for the moon, and then we plant our flag on it”, she alludes to the Apollo 11 mission, when astronauts planted a flag of the United States on the lunar surface. Her intention here is to highlight the extent of American ambition.

Harris makes a few allusions to the Covid-19 pandemic when she mentions the “dark times” and the “crisis” that define America. However, she does not emphasize this topic, as she is more concerned with giving a positive note to her speech.

Harris then makes direct references to some of the historical figures that have helped shape the American nation. She mentions Abraham Lincoln and his land-grant colleges, which were institutions meant to provide practical knowledge and informa...

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