Rhetorical Analysis Of Benjamin Banneker

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Benjamin Banneker was an African American man who was not enslaved, but was the son of former slaves. He writes to Thomas Jefferson on the unequal rights of African Americans and slaves, and it turned out to be very influential and well known today. In Benjamin Banneker’s essay, he tries to persuade Thomas Jefferson that African Americans are treated as unequal by the American people which is contradictory to what the nation stands for by using the rhetorical devices of hortative diction, allusion, syntax, and arrangement. In Banneker’s essay, he uses hortative diction to emphasize his purpose of the unequal treatment of African Americans and lack of protection the constitution offered them. Many of his sentences urge Jefferson to reconsider the laws about slavery and treatment of African Americans in the constitution. For example, in the first paragraph he says, “Sir, suffer me to recall to your mind that time in which the arms and tyranny of the British Crown were exerted with every powerful effort in order to reduce you to a State of Servitude, look back I entreat you on the variety of dangers to which you were exposed; reflect on that time in which every human aid appeared unavailable, and in which even hope and fortitude wore the aspect of inability to the conflict…” (Banneker). These lines are very significant for the purpose to be portrayed. Banneker specifically asks Jefferson to think about the time of slavery from when the British ruled. He calls Jefferson out
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