Task 1A: Language features and literary devices


Task 1A asks you to comment on and explain the effect of some of the language features and/or literary devices former President John F. Kennedy uses in a speech about world peace. You must use examples from the speech in your answer.

The text in Task 1A is an excerpt from a 1963 speech delivered by US President John F. Kennedy at an American university.

In the excerpt, Kennedy argues that world peace is the most important challenge facing the world today, although some choose to ignore it.

Kennedy differentiates between a peace enforced through security measures by the US and a genuine peace in which everyone on earth can feel safe to develop and improve. He speaks about the necessity of peace and argues that believing that world peace is impossible only makes war inevitable.

The speaker explains that most problems and conflicts are created by human beings, which implies that human beings can also find ways to solve them.

Kennedy claims that to achieve lasting peace, all nations need to work together towards the same goal, not only the most powerful states. He describes peace as a problem-solving process and argues that with perseverance and clear goals nations can achieve peace and give people hope.


Antithesis refers to creating opposition between terms and ideas. This helps the speaker maintain the audience’s attention and highlight the ideas that he supports.

John F. Kennedy creates antithesis between truth and ignorance to outline the idea that world peace should be one of the main concerns of people:   “…a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth is too rarely perceived” (ll. 1-2). This example of antithesis also helps the speaker criticise those who refuse to take the issue of world peace more seriously.

In the excerpt, Kennedy also creates antithesis between war and peace, which helps him remind the audience that the lack of peace leads to negative outcomes such as conflicts and war: “I realize that the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war…” (ll. 9-10); “It leads to the conclusion that...

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