A Rhetorical Analysis Of Benjamin Banneker's Letter

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Benjamin Banneker is the son of former slaves who has made strides in many fields. After perusing many professions, he wrote about his feelings of slavery to Thomas Jefferson, serving as the Secretary of State to President George Washington. Throughout his letter, Benjamin Banneker utilizes rhetorical devices to argue against slavery. Banneker utilizes criticism, such as when he cites the Declaration of Independence and compares it to how the rightful liberties of African Americans have been stolen. In addition, Banneker shows his true feelings by utilizing diction, which shows that Banneker is very emotional and serious. Banneker continuously uses repetition throughout his letter as well. Banneker shares his point of view and uses a combination of evidence, criticism, and appeal to prove that slavery is…show more content…
Banneker’s goal is to connect with Jefferson. He wants Jefferson to realize that he himself worked hard to obtain the rights naturally entitled to all humans by God which were once taken away from him and all of America. However, he is taking away these very rights from Banneker’s “brethren”, the African Americans. In his letter, Benjamin Banneker begins by describing the historical context of how America was able to escape the tyranny of Britain. Banneker utilizes America’s freedom from Britain to show that the “tranquility that exists is only due to a blessing.” Banneker’s use of the word “tranquility” refers to widespread peace. In order to have peace, America had to separate from Britain and become self governing to avoid anymore conflict or oppression. This idea of freedom will extend further when
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