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  • Subject area(s): Business
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  • Published on: 21st September 2019
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As Ronald Reagan once said, “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do.” This is a quote that former prime minister Margaret Thatcher would have loved and respected. On June 11, 2004, Thatcher delivered a eulogy to the American people in regards to Reagan. In her speech, Thatcher speaks very highly of Reagan, commemorating his honor and highlighting his leadership and character. By using rhetorical strategies such as an anaphora, striking diction, parallelism, contrast, references, and an appeal to ethos and pathos, Thatcher is able to cement Reagan’s legacy as a true leader and hero.

Thatcher used a striking introduction to appeal to America’s emotions. In the very first sentence of her speech, Thatcher includes an anaphora stating, “We have lost a great president, a great American, and a great man…”. By doing so, Thatcher emphasizes Reagan’s character and assures the readers that he truly was “great”. The quote tugs at the hearts of her readers because the American people had lost one of their own, and it spread grief throughout the nation. By proclaiming Reagan as “great”, Thatcher is able to relieve some of that grief and console the people of America. Shortly after this, Thatcher incorporates compelling diction to describe Reagan. She adds, “…Ronald Reagan was such a cheerful and invigorating presence.” By doing so, Thatcher gives the people inspiring words to remember him by and strengthen their fondness of Reagan.

Thatcher also uses the act of parallelism to build up Reagan’s reputation. Early in her speech, Thatcher declares, “He sought to mend America’s wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world, and to free the slaves of communism.“ By placing the phrases “to mend”, “to restore”, and “to free” side by side, Thatcher was able to affirm Reagan as a man of action and betterment. Even though these are challenging tasks, Thatcher proved that Reagan was willing to sacrifice and fight for America, ultimately increasing the people’s affection for the U.S. President. Along with this, Thatcher uses parallelism in the 12th paragraph when she repeats sentences in the format of “When… They… “. By using this sentence structure, Thatcher reinforced that Reagan could be trusted to make the correct decision, regardless of the situation. Furthermore, by listing a problem in the beginning of the sentence, Thatcher assures that Reagan was a trusted leader because he fought through the hard times.

Thatcher used contrast to reflect the strength of Reagan’s actions. Throughout her speech, Thatcher informed the readers that Reagan led during a time of political discrepancies and hardships. By contrasting the “dark times” to Reagan’s “lightness of spirit”, Thatcher is able to highlight Reagan’s optimism. A second demonstration of this is in paragraphs 4-6 when Thatcher repeats the concept of “Others… He… “. An example is, “Others saw only limits to growth. He transformed a stagnant economy into an engine of opportunity.” Thatcher contrasts the popular opinion of the public to the actual results from Reagan’s presidency. By doing this, Thatcher proves Reagan’s actions to be extraordinary, leaving the people of America with no doubt that Reagan was a great leader.

Another way Thatcher assures her message is through an appeal to ethos. In the first sentence of her speech, Thatcher recognizes Reagan as “a dear friend”. By proclaiming this, Thatcher confirmed that she had a deep relationship with Reagan. Moreover, she refers to him as “Ronnie”, using a nickname that demonstrated her fondness. In addition, Thatcher includes the fact, “As prime minister, I worked closely with Ronald Reagan for eight of the most important years of our lives.” By stating that she was a former prime minister, Thatcher increases the credibility of her speech. Her readers are able to realize she was not just a friend to Reagan, but an authoritative figure and reliable allie as well.

 Lastly, Thatcher makes her message heard by using references. She states, “His policies… that won converts from every class and every nation, and ultimately, from the very heart of the “evil empire.”” The reference “evil empire”, said by Ronald Reagan himself, is a representation of the Soviet Union. Thatcher included this reference for several reasons as it depicted that Reagan’s ideas spread far beyond the US. It also showed the readers that Reagan was the “good” that fought the “evil”, and it convinces them that Reagan completed astounding accomplishments.

All in all, Margaret Thatcher portrays her message to the American people that Ronald Reagan was an outstanding leader worthy of great honor. By using rhetorical strategies such as an anaphora, striking diction, parallelism, contrast, references, and an appeal to ethos and pathos, Thatcher was able to effectively portray her ideas and assist her readers in understanding Reagan’s life.

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