Rhetorical Criticism - Richard Nixon's Resignation

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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I'm planning to do a Rhetorical criticism essay using the traditional method on Richard Milhous Nixon's famous resignation speech that was gave on August 8, 1974, from the office of the President of the United States of America due to the events of the Watergate. This essay will look at the social settings, historical facts, and biographical factors. I will also be looking at the speech itself and how the symbols in this message function to affect and influence meaning for an audience.

The first aspect that I am going to investigate is the Rhetor, who exactly is Richard Milhous Nixon, who was he, where did he come from, and how did he get to where he did. Richard Milhous Nixon according to infoplease.com was born in Yorba Linda, California on January 9, 1913 and was raised a Quaker. Nixon, as a young man, was a high school debater; and then went on to college at Whittier College in California and graduated in 1934.

After Nixon graduated third in his class from Duke University's Law School in 1937, he practiced law for five years before joining the Navy in August 1942. While in the Navy, Nixon served as an air transport officer in the South Pacific and as a legal officer. Nixon left the Navy in 1946 as a lieutenant commander (infoplease.com) Nixon then went on to run for Congress in California as a Republican in 1946 where he defeated Jerry Voorhis. While in office, Nixon served as a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Then in1950 Nixon ran for senate and won, beating Helen Douglas, a Democrat. He was criticized for portraying her as a Communist dupe. Then in 1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower selected Nixon to run with him on his ticket as a Vice President,