Letter To Benjamin Banneker Rhetorical Analysis

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Banneker Rhetorical Analysis

The last 16 years of the 18th Century were very exciting for the United States of America. We had just defeated the British in the brutal Revolutionary War, and the sense of becoming a super power was becoming more realistic. However, our young country had many flaws such as; a massive war debt, no stable economy, and the dependence of slaves to do back-breaking work. In 1791, eight years after the end of the war, Benjamin Banneker wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State at the time. In his letter, Banneker, the son of a former slave, argues against slavery through the use of flashbacks that demonstrate early patriotic values, the repetition of polite, respectful phrases, and the allusions to biblical doctrine to achieve the purpose of introducing the idea that slavery is an issue. The early patriots were very spirited about gaining independence from the British Crown. They demonstrated this fighting spirit through multiple acts of defiance and treason. In his letter, Banneker asks for Jefferson “…to recall to your mind that time in which the arms and tyranny
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If you were a male who had a high capacity for learning, you were held higher than the average person in every possible way. You were usually sought after to be a leader for your peers. Benjamin Banneker displayed his extensive education throughout his letter to Thomas Jefferson. His polite tone throughout shows his knowledge of writing and how to write for a specific audience. Plus, Banneker’s repetitive nature of the word “sir” and polite phrases such as, “suffer me to recall to your mind…” (Line 1) show that Banneker has had formal training in addressing people with the upmost respect. This makes his letter more effective by appealing to Jefferson’s pathos. This is important because it shows that an African American can be equal in education and even more if given the freedom they
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