A Rhetorical Analysis Of Alfred M. Green's Speech

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Harriet Tubman, a famous abolitionist, once said “I rescued a thousand slaves and I could have rescued a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves”. Many slaves of the 19th century were not able to read or write, and were completely oblivious to natural rights and other political situations happening around them. Alfred M. Green gave a speech in April of 1861 to recruit African American slaves to the army to fight for their freedom. In Green’s speech, he acknowledges the misery African Americans have already been through, points out the flaws in the enemy (the South); and motivates them to participate by using hortatory subjunctives, metaphors, irony, and other rhetorical strategies. Throughout the first part of his speech, Alfred Green places emphasis on the hardships that African Americans have already gone through for their country. Green references famous events such as…show more content…
Green takes a moment to describe the South as “howling leaders” and that their goal is to “build stronger the tyrant system...in the great American Republic”. When Alfred Green compares the leaders to animals and points out the irony in the South’s intentions, he manages to point out most of the flaws of his opponent. By doing this, it persuades the African Americans to join the North because it would not make sense for them to join a side that wishes to keep them enslaved. At the very end of the speech, Green says that their “very presence among the troops of the North would inspire your pressed brethren” when he speaks of the others who are not offered the opportunity to fight with the North. Alfred Green uses ethos in this statement to appeal to African American’s kind culture and ethnics. Green is telling his audience that, no matter what the reason, it would be in their best interest to join the North in the fight against
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