Obama’s inauguration speech - Imagery and Metaphors

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Tuesday 3 February 2009

One of the highlights of the speech for me was the imagery at the end of this paragraph.

    To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist. 
I can almost see the two hands coming together with the extending and the unclenching. To my mind this is not just imagery, but close to verbal animation.But the meteorological metaphors were totally lost on me, if not clichéd and over the top:
    Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms.
Obama only needed to characterise himself as a ray of light, or a shining sun to complete this downpour of absurdity.


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