Rhetorical Analysis Of Frederick Douglass

866 WordsDec 5, 20174 Pages
Frederick Douglass was an abolitionist, a human rights activist, and a former slave with a lot to say. July 4, 1852, a man was asked to speak at a Declaration signing commemoration event. This man, an African- American former slave steps up on stage and delivers a speech of the century, informing the white crowd of the slave's perspective on the 'celebration of freedom'. In the speech, Douglass claims that the Fourth of July is a day of mourning for current and former slaves instead of the celebration the White Americans partake in. Throughout the speech, he uses logos, ethos, and pathos to emphasize the hard perspective of a day that reminds the slave of their lack of freedom. The evident utilization of rhetorical appeals in the speech…show more content…
Frederick Douglass was a slave in his own time and by the time of his speech, he had plenty of torturous memories to base off of. The speaker uses ethos when comparing the Whites to the slaves as he states "You may rejoice, I must mourn" as a way of showing their differences in perspective about the occasion (Douglass 1). This quote comes from Douglass's experience as a slave and his view of the Fourth of July so he is credible to his feelings. The authors background in the slave field allows his views to be credible as he went through what the other former and current slaves he mentioned have gone through. His ethos creates an impactful and logical addition to support his claims. Comparatively, the most used appeal throughout the speech is pathos. With every word, Douglass painted a straight of emotions and feelings to close the listeners in and make them understand the sentiment behind the slave's stories. Frederick uses his credited background in slavery to describe the life compared to the white man's. For example, Douglass states " ...above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are today rendered more intolerable by the jubilant shouts that reach them" (Douglass 1). This imagery sets the idea that while the freed white privileged Americans are ignorantly celebrating, there are man and women struggling to stay alive. The uneasy feeling that follows this idea is pathos. The
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