Ethos in the international crisis speaking of John F. Kennedy



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Ethical appeal in the international crisis speeches of President Kennedy related to the development of his image in the office of the Presidency. "Image" denotes subjective, structured Information about Kennedy concerning his personalization of institutions, fulfillment of role expectations, reputation, prestige, and attainments. "Ethical appeal" refers to the personality and proposals revealed through the good sense, good character, and good will present in the speeches. The speeches arose from international crises in 1961 and 1962, involving the Congo, Laos, Bay of Pigs, European tour, Berlin, nuclear testing, Matsu and Quemoy, and Cuba. Kennedy was concerned for image and used televised speeches to improve or reinforce his image. Also, his image influenced his choice of ethical appeals. This process was particularly apparent following the Bay of Pigs in 1961, and the Matsu and Quemoy crisis in 1962. During these times, his image took on unfavorable factors. Ethical appeals which appeared in speeches served to offset those unfavorable factors. Further, ethical appeal directly affected Kennedy’s image and produced favorable image factors. At other times during the two years, elements of ethical appeal and factors of image corresponded and exerted mutual influence. In the life situations discussed, in this study, image and ethical appeal existed on a continuum with overlapping factors and elements that interacted to produce the speaker"s ethos.