Motivating a Nation to War: An Analysis of Bush’s Address to Congress after 9/11

Corey Sheriff


The events of September 11, 2001, changed the way Americans felt about their sense of security. For the first time in a while, American citizens had become the target of foreign attack on American soil, a catalyst that would lead them into a foreign campaign to eradicate a new enemy—terrorism. Following the tragedy that occurred in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, President George W. Bush delivered an address to Congress discussing these events and how the nation would move forward. This address is the rhetorical artifact I will examine using the Pentadic method found in the writings of Kenneth Burke. The essay concludes with an assessment of George W. Bush’s motives and effect this address had on our nation’s response the transgressions of that fateful morning in September.


George W. Bush; Pentad; Kenneth Burke; Rhetorical Criticism

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