Atoms for Peace Analysis
Dwight D Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States from 1953-1960, is revered as a statesman and great military leader. Born in Texas in 1890 and raised in Kansas to a family that valued education, Eisenhower began a long career as a leader and military officer upon his graduation in 1915 from West Point. Eisenhower is recognized for his leadership and oratorical skills which he applied to both military endeavors and managing the nation. He was fortunate to be mentored by General Fox Conner, in the Panama Canal Zone.
Conner encouraged him to study important works of history, military science, and philosophy which Eisenhower applied to his own efforts and experiences. Eisenhower later moved up the military ranks to five star General of the Army, Military Governor, US Occupied Zone, and Chief of Staff, US Army, earning respect nationally and internationally with the end of World War II. In 1927 Eisenhower wrote for the American Battle Monuments Commission in Washington and Paris, and gained valuable exposure to European geography and culture, information he would apply throughout his career.
Oratory continued to play a significant role in his life when he served as a chief military aide to Douglas MacArthur, U. S. Army Chief of Staff in 1933, where his duties included writing speeches and policy papers. This opportunity provided Eisenhower with invaluable experience which he employed and perfected during his own presidency. Among his career experiences, Eisenhower served as President of Columbia University. As President of the United States, Eisenhower wrote many of his own speeches in which he was known to edit, rewrite and personalize the text through multiple drafts.
Recognized as a powerful orator, Eisenhower used an informal style of speech to persuade, inspire and motivate the people. He had incredible control over diction and his speeches were considered informative. The eight years between the explosion of the first atomic bomb in 1945 and Dwight D. Eisenhower’s speech in 1953 were filled with atomic research. Bombs were made “twenty-five times as powerful as the weapons with which the atomic age dawned. ” Test explosions were frequent as the realization dawned on Americans that the atomic age was becoming much more serious.
Any atomic explosion that could happen was bound to be devastating and possibly cataclysmic. The problem continued to grow, and resulted various meetings with France and Great Britain about this new atomic world. He was called upon to give a speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations about the world’s problems. His proposition was to use “atomic materials” for peaceful purposes; each country would contribute uranium and fissionable supplies to the International Atomic Energy Agency, who would store the materials and use them for medicine, agriculture, and to give power to poverty-stricken countries.
The use of speech and rhetoric allow Eisenhower to reach his audience better because his voice and diction employ pathos, which is better able to come across in a speech as opposed to a written piece. Speech also allows him to reach his audience of the United Nations and the American people more successfully. Eisenhower’s proposal was broadly accepted and embraced by the 3500-member General Assembly, which included members from various countries, including Afghanistan, Chile, Ecuador, Iceland, Indonesia, Paraguay, Peru, the Soviet Union, Sweden, and the United States.
Most members were knowledgeable about the use of atomic materials; countries such as the Soviet Union and the United States had previously used these types of resources. The Soviet Union was perhaps the most attached to atomic weapons, as it had been working very hard to develop new nuclear “devices, including at least one involving thermo-nuclear reactions. ” Therefore, it wasn’t open to banking its uranium, and though Eisenhower’s proposal was accepted at the time, it was never acted upon.
The only part of the plan that happened was the banking of materials: countries donated uranium, and knowledge was spread as to how to make nuclear weapons, but the uranium and similar materials were never used for peaceful purposes. The audience’s biases and beliefs both impeded and helped Eisenhower’s proposal. Eisenhower’s diction was appropriate for his audience; though he used some jargon, the members were able to understand because of their level of knowledge. His appeals, mostly to pathos and ethos, were effective.
He established ethos by addressing the meeting with France and Great Britain, and through his position as President. Eisenhower’s use of rhetoric allowed his audience to be receptive to his argument. In Eisenhower’s introduction he does not construct the reality and frame the question effectively. He does not make his purpose clear in his introduction either. Even though in the first paragraph Dwight mentions that his speech will be about the issues of society today, he does not mention those issues much farther in the text.
The structure of his arguments contribute to his persuasion. Eisenhower would begin by telling the audience what the issues at hand are, then would say his solution to each problem. For example, around the 21st paragraph, Eisenhower uses a first, second and finally method. In those, he states some issues such as, “the knowledge now possessed by several nations will eventually be shared by others—possibly all others. ” Then Dwight goes to suggest the solution or solutions to the previously stated problems.
Also, throughout the piece, he would begin his argument with idea that the audience would generally agree with and, once the audience was on his side, he would bring up the more serious issues. In Eisenhower’s counter arguments, he does concede to the danger and previous issues with atomic warfare. He also admits that his methods on erasing modern warfare are difficult. These concessions contribute to his overall idea because they seem like small drawbacks to the long list of benefits he gives. Eisenhower’s speech had been pre-written and practiced before he delivered it.
One thing that Eisenhower did very well in his speech was use pauses to his advantage. The pauses provided emphasis and impact to his words. They also gave him time to compose himself and keep the words moving so that the piece would not seem choppy. It was very interesting that before stating the main idea of his paragraphs, he would take a longer than average pause. This created a curiosity in the audience.
For example, Eisenhower states that, “I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new… That new language is the language of atomic warfare. Before the second sentence in that quotation, which was the most important sentence in the paragraph, Eisenhower took a very long pause. Overall, Eisenhower’s delivery was well done and gave new meaning to the words. This speech was possibly a tipping point for worldwide focus on peaceful uses of atomic energy. It could be argued that Eisenhower was attempting to convey a feeling of comfort to a terrified world that the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would not be experienced again.
One thing from this speech that can teach them about effective rhetoric is that pathos, ethos and logos are quite possibly the most important things to make sure you have in an essay. Eisenhower uses logos to draw the reader to a rational conclusion. Ethos is created when he talks about his viewpoint on the current events of that time. For example, he states that because he spent a while in the military profession, he would have preferred to never use the language of atomic warfare. That creates ethos because the soldiers are generally honorable, honest men who you can trust.
And lastly, Eisenhower creates pathos when talking about the destructive power of the atomic weapons and how harmful they can be. This speech is very relevant in today’s issues and event. Atomic warfare is still expanding and escalating rather than dissipating. The solutions that Eisenhower gave can still be applicable today and if we do apply them, they are sure to make an improvement on society. Eisenhower’s speech to the United Nation General Assembly was delivered on December 8th, 1953.
The main purpose of the speech was to bring forth the idea for the use of atomic weapons peacefully to create a new form of energy, atomic energy. Eisenhower points out that there are stockpiles of nuclear weapons in the United States, being used for nothing good but destruction. He claims that these weapons can be applied to the “needs of agriculture, medicine and other peaceful activities” He presents an international agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose job would be to administer over atomic waste and create innovative, “abundant electrical power” for the world.
This agency will be a small step in the direction of peace and help “dedicate some strength to serving the needs rather than the fears of mankind. ” The use of testimony from a previous General Assembly on November 18th, 1853 helps show the audience that the United States has been trying to create a spirit of hope for the Nation; the terrors of nuclear warfare are not going to reoccur. The way Eisenhower tries to reassure the audience and instill a sense of future hope and peace is effective and quite optimistic.
After making this speech, there weren’t any counterarguments. Historians believe that this speech was given to reassure the United States that they have allies in Europe that will go along with the new plan, to turn traditional weapons into nuclear weapons for atomic energy purposes; and that the United States will not provoke war on Western Europe. Eisenhower’s speech has lasting value. His oratory and rhetoric styles helped convey a sense of hope and shed some positive light on the future of the United States and the World-a future full of innovative nergy and peace between Nations.
Eisenhower employs numerous rhetorical strategies to create a sense of unity between Europe and the United States. He uses anaphora, parallelism, rhetorical questioning and imagery of light and dark to convey a sense of hope. He points out that many nations have discovered nuclear technology and continue to se it against each other destructively. Eisenhower states that we need to turn this new technology into something that we all benefit from-something for the good of mankind like atomic energy.
Only after we stop trying to kill one another with nuclear warfare and use this technology for good will there be peace. Eisenhower paces his writing and creates a sense of rhythm that is overall smooth and flowing. He uses “the language of atomic warfare,” which is sophisticated and full of optimism. Through his simple syntax and good sentence structure he gives life to the idea of hope, and peace for all. Eisenhower’s overall diction was simple and very “down to earth,” adding to the idea that we are all in this together and that we can create effective change and peace together.