Chief Joseph's Speech: I Will Fight No More Forever

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Chief Joseph's surrender speech titled, "I Will Fight No More Forever”, is a historical and significant oration addressing the challenges the Ned Perce tribe had to overcome being ousted from its lands in the Wallowa Valley in the Oregon Territory. As a Native American leader of the Nez Perce tribe, Chief Joseph was born in Oregon in 1840, and the principal idea of the speech covered the hardships he and the people in his tribe experienced. Although brief, his speech was a powerful, touching message of struggles and pain.

Before examining the speech that Chief Joseph gave in 1877, it is imperative to consider the occurrences that preceded it. For months Chief Joseph and his tribe were hunted out of their native territories by white settlers. …show more content…

His use of opportune timing, or kairos, is beneficial because he spoke following this gruesome battle of displacement. This allows the audience to form a connection with the emotional struggle, making the speech effective in decorum, which is typically the main idea of all rhetoric.

With a focus on the social situation of Chief Joseph's speech, the judicial branch of oratory in rhetoric is blatant. The accusation of exhaustion is relevant when he says, “From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever”. In other words, he is surrendering from the battle and speaking of the many losses experienced. His use of the words killed, dead, cold, freezing, sick, and sad are powerful and evoke powerful reactions in the audience oratorically.

In conclusion, Chief Joseph's surrender speech was a survival strategy to keep the Nez Perce people alive and together after he realized the battle was a loss. Feeling betrayed, he conveys a powerful message of revelations and challenges of his tribe to the American government, expressing the suffering and anguish of the Native Americans and the ferocity of war. The sincerity and leadership Chief Joseph displayed in his speech make this one of the most touching pieces of oratory in

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