Compare And Contrast Essay – Essay Example

President John F. Kennedy and Clinton were inaugurated as presidents of America in 1960 and 1993 respectively. Such historical events are often marked by speeches where the incumbent leader outlines the roadmap for his plans while in office. Against this background, this essay seeks to compare and contrast the inaugural address of President John F. Kennedy in 1960 Washington D.C. and the one entitled “On the Pulse of the Morning” by Maya Angelou for William Clinton’s 1993 presidential inauguration.
The main difference between the two speeches is that President Kennedy’s speech is in prose form and more direct where it can be noted that he is addressing the audience while the speech meant for Clinton by Maya is poetic and strongly uses poetic devices such as imagery as well as symbolism to communicate with the intended audiences.
The other notable difference is that President Kennedy’s speech specifically states that unity among the American people is the foundation of creating a peaceful environment. It can be noted that Maya uses symbolism where he believes that people can get peace from the river, the tree and the rock. These are seen as agents of peace from God since they are immovable unlike human conflicts which just destabilises communities.
It can also be noted that these speeches deal with the same subject though in a different fashion. The major similarity is that President Kennedy pledges peace since America was born out of war and trusts that the Almighty God can guarantee the much needed power and wisdom. He says, “To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support...” On the other hand, it can be noted that Maya also talks about peace through symbolising the river, rock and tree as eternal sources of life than believing in fighting with guns and other deadly weaponry. He Says, “History, despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
President Kennedy’s speech is mainly concerned with ending poverty and suffering of humankind through provision of the much needed support to the people who were formerly oppressed by the system where the richer were only concerned about their welfare at the expense of the ordinary man. Maya also believes that time for fighting is over and urges the people to look for other peaceful means of building a habitable country.
A close analysis of President Kennedy’s inaugural speech and Maya’s speech reveal that both echo the same sentiments where they emphasise that fighting is not a solution to problems such as poverty but can only influence it and create hatred which destabilizes peace. Invention of sophisticated weaponry such as nuclear is a recipe for endless suffering of humankind. Though different in form and style, it can be noted that a critical analysis of the two speeches shows that they have similarities where they preach the gospel of peace and stability among the Americans as well as the other people the world over.