Hypocrisy Of Slavery Rhetorical Devices

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In 1776, on July 4th, the 13 English colonies officially declared their freedom from England. However, as the years progressed, slavery became incorporated into everyday American life. In 1852, former slave Frederick Douglass gave a speech to celebrate America’s independence; however, instead of praising the country, he censured Americans for saying they were a “country of the free”. In the speech, Hypocrisy of American Slavery, Frederick Douglass declares that Americans should not be celebrating their freedom when there are slaves living in the country. To convince his audience that Americans are wrong celebrating freedom on the 4th of July when slavery exists in their country, he uses emotional appeal, ethical appeal, and rhetorical questions. To begin, he uses emotional appeal to create powerful imagery to persuade the reader that celebrating freedom is wrong when slavery still exists. He announces, “fellow citizens, 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” (para. 4). By creating a picture in the audience’s mind of other people’s cries of freedom deriding slaves, they begin to feel ashamed for being so cheerful while African Americans have no liberty. The readers have recognized that they are being hypocrites by supporting slavery while boasting about their freedom as a country, which leads them to begin wanting to

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