In the second paragraph, Benjamin Banneker alludes to the Declaration of the Independence to note that Jefferson himself wrote “all men are created equal” and have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Banneker includes this detail to prove to the audience that Banneker is knowledgeable, and also point out the hypocrisy of the whites. The use of Jefferson’s own words against himself creates a slight shock from the audience, and urges a re-examination of themselves and the principles they claim to hold dearly. Banneker opens the third paragraph with several religious details that criticize Jefferson’s support for slavery. Banneker explains that while Jefferson is “fully convinced of the benevolence of the father” he “counteracts
This is to keep Jefferson in a calm state instead of simply infuriating him. Although Banneker is offended, he keeps his maturity level high. Also, He uses words such as entreat, dangers, exposed, hope, fortitude, inability, abhorrence to maintain his credibility as a professionalist while still keeping the sense of his disagreement of slavery. This makes Jefferson feel as if he is the one who is incorrect, since Banneker is an intellectual writer, and makes him think over his current actions. Then, Banneker’s tone shifts into more emotional and passionate toward his argument of abolishing slavery. Banneker uses words such as liberty, nature, benevolence, mercies, fraud, violence, captivity, cruel, oppression, criminal, detested which causes a powerful effect. Banneker refers to
In 1791 Benjamin Banneker, the son of former slaves, astronomer, and almanac author, wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson, in a courteous but forceful manner, challenging the framer of the Declaration of Independence and secretary of state on the topics of race and freedom. He touches on the topics of the way blacks were treated and seen by the common white American citizen and how it is an injustice. In his letter, Banneker uses ethos, logos, pathos, repetition, syntax, and juxtaposition to sympathize with Jefferson about former hardships to perhaps reach common ground.
Banneker uses allusions throughout his letter to persuade Jefferson to empathize with the slaves and have more compassion towards their struggle. This includes in lines 6 and 7, when Banneker points out, “you cannot but acknowledge that the present freedom
Frederick Douglass was a freed slave in the 1800’s who was famous for his ability to read and write, uncommon of a black man at the time. On July 4th, 1852, he gave a speech to citizens of the United States. In this speech, he called out the “hypocrisy of the nation”(Douglass), questioning the nation's treatment of slaves on a supposed day of independence. Frederick Douglass effectively uses rhetorical strategies to construct his argument and expose the hypocrisy of the nation.
In addition to using pathos Banneker establishes ethos in his letter to argue against slavery. Banneker appeals to Jefferson by presenting Jefferson’s own work, The Declaration of Independence, to help strengthen his argument. Banneker emphasizes Jefferson’s famous line that “all men are created equal”. He points to the fact that Jefferson wrote that all men are equal, yet he is a hypocrite because he considers slaves inferior, not deserving of the freedom that he and the rest of America have. Using Jefferson’s own work Banneker not only appeals to Jefferson’s sense of authority but also strengthens his argument against slavery.
This background information effectively explains a portion of the reason that Banneker uses advanced word choice in his letter. In order to be taken seriously by Jefferson, who owned slaves himself, Banneker would have to prove himself to be intelligent enough to use phrases like “captivity and cruel oppression” and “your miraculous and providential preservation”. This demonstration of intelligence is directly tied to his purpose in that Jefferson would never have considered his letter had Banneker not proved his “worth”. However, proving his intelligence was not Banneker’s only reason for using specific word choice, he also does it to show respect toward Jefferson in a similar attempt to capture Jefferson’s attention and make him listen to his
First, Benjamin Banneker reasons African Americans are equal to white men in order to argue that slavery is morally wrong. For example, through the repetition of the word the ‘Sir’, Banneker not only shows respect towards Thomas Jefferson, but portrays himself as someone knowledgeable. This helps Banneker argue that is slavery is morally wrong because it shatters the notion of African Americans being inferior to white people due to Banneker, who is an African American, writing a letter in a dignified manner. Also, it helps the argument by appealing to Thomas Jefferson’s ego and sense of worth. The repetition of ‘sir’ makes it more difficult for Jefferson to become angry at Banneker for being insolent because it doesn’t antagonize Jefferson, but recognizes the difference in authority and position between Banneker and Jefferson while showing that Banneker himself, who is an African American, is capable and educated. Through sentences “… you have mercifully received and that is the peculiar blessing of heaven”, “blessings to which you were entitled by nature”, and “… benevolence of the Father of mankind and of equal and impartial distribution of those right…” Mr. Banneker appeals to Jefferson through religion. This religious appeal aids the argument that slavery is wrong because it works as the premise to a syllogism; God has made all men equal, African Americans and white people are men, so they are equal. For Jefferson to dispute this argument, he would have to defy the premise of his own Declaration of Independence (“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are create equal…”) which would mean the loss of the justification Americans had to declare independence from Great Britain. Also, Banneker speaks to Jefferson’s own values as a religious man by arguing that he is opposing God’s goodwill in the
Douglass began his speech to the audience by asking a series of rhetorical questions in addition to the use of sarcasm. He referred to the Declaration of Independence as “that” instead of “the” Declaration stressing a separation between African-Americans and the freemen of the United States. He extended the use of his rhetoric by asking, “What have I or those, I represent, to do with your national independence?” Slaves, whose freedom is denied, do not share other Americans’ patriotic feelings regarding the Fourth of July. His use of these rhetorical questions was valid because it separated Douglass as a different man than the rest of his white audience. Furthermore, Douglass asked, "Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty?" He indicated that people knew in their hearts that all were entitled to freedom. Douglass demonstrated sarcasm in this principle of freedom, almost as if the aforementioned rhetorical question shouldn’t need to be stated. He further declared that the stigma separating free whites and enslaved African-Americans was blatantly foolish.
Benjamin Banneker was a free African American who lived during a time when slavery was still prominent in America. As a free African American, Banneker knew the joys of freedom. In 1791 he wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson in which he urged Jefferson to put an end to slavery in America by using his powerful influence in the government. Jefferson, a slave owner himself, was a major supporter for independence during the American Revolution; in this letter to Jefferson, Banneker wants to show him that he is contradicting his previous beliefs by not abolishing slavery. Banneker aims to use Jefferson’s own experiences and principles in order to persuade him to get rid of slavery in the states. Banneker is very passionate in his letter to Jefferson, expressing an intense urge for the abolition of slavery. Banneker mainly integrates the mechanics of appeals to logic and ethics, strong diction and logical rhetorical structure in order to persuade Jefferson.
Also, Mr. Banneker used pathos to help argue against slavery, he appealed to Mr. Jefferson’s ego. When Benjamin Banneker was talking about the Declaration of Independence he referred to it as a “valuable doctrine… remembered in all succeeding ages”, this appeals to Thomas Jefferson because he was the principal author of it. Now he has caught Thomas Jefferson attention and has shown his respect towards him and his work. Not only has he shown his respect towards him but Mr. Jefferson can see that they agree on the same concept even if it’s not on the same page. He also used pathos, when reminding Mr.Jefferson about the time the U.S was under British rule. He did this to make a connection between slaves and colonists, he reminds him that they too had no freedom and had little hope of escaping the British crown. All of this helps
The main goal of Banneker’s letter was to get Thomas Jefferson to support his viewpoint of opposing slavery. Banneker included an excerpt of the Declaration of Independence, which stated that all men are created equal, implying that they should all be treated in the same way. This excerpt helps his argument because slaves were not
The letter from Banneker to Jefferson integrates extremely knowledgeable and formal diction in contention against the issue of slavery. The advanced level of language introduced by Banneker is another contributing component to his believability on his position against subjugation. A few great instances of Banneker's diction are in the words "abhorrence" in line 18, "benevolence" in line 32, and the phrase "professedly detested" in line 40, all of these showing the great knowledge that he carries. Banneker’s education has the potential to prove to Jefferson that black people can be on the same level as white people despite being put below white people as their slaves. In the second paragraph of his writing, Benjamin uses his knowledge of the time period when the United States was under British rule, inviting Jefferson to recall the "injustice" and the "horrors of its condition”. In doing so, he compares this to the slavery of black people during his own current state of life. In lines 35-38 of Banneker’s letter, it is stated, "that you should at the same time counteract his (God's) mercies in detaining by fraud and violence so numerous a part of
It is said that slavery is a stain on our country’s past. The topic of slavery was and still is a controversy in which equality is a struggle to obtain. However, what occurred in the past created the nation that lives on today. Benjamin Banneker was one man who stood out in the efforts to end slavery. He did so in writing a strongly worded letter to Thomas Jefferson that exclaimed his opinions and feelings. Banneker used an appeal to pathos, repetition, and religious appeals to argue against slavery.
In the midst of a long passage on black people in his Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson (who sniffed that [Phyllis] Wheatley’s poetry was “below the dignity of criticism”) proposed that black inferiority- “in the endowment of both body and mind”- might be an unchangeable law of nature. (181)