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Rhetorical Analysis Of A Talk To Teachers

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Rhetorically Analyzing A Talk to Teachers A talk to teachers, written by James Baldwin, criticises the education system in the mid-1900s by directly sending a message to teachers about the flaws in the system. He argues that race should not hinder equality or the quality of education a child receives. Baldwin uses tone and diction that highlights the importance of his message. In addition, he uses several persuasion tactics to convince his audience of his ideas. Baldwin uses an advanced vocabulary throughout the essay, but only uses slang terms when referring to African Americans. By using phrases like “But if I was a "nigger" in your eyes”, he shows the audience what the words culturally imply such as stupidity and ignorance. Since this is…show more content…
At the beginning of his speech, he conveys emotion through telling his own story and putting the audience in his shoes. He states “On the one hand he is born in the shadow of the stars and stripes and he is assured it represents a nation which has never lost a war. He pledges allegiance to that flag which guarantees "liberty and justice for all." He is part of a country in which anyone can become President, and so forth”. This shows the audience how African American children feel when living in a country made on the premise of equality, but feeling anything but equal to their Caucasian peers. He uses the audience's emotional vulnerability to make his argument stronger and more convincing. Another strategy used it appealing the audiences logical side. Baldwin uses this strategy primarily at the end of his speech to share the consequences of segregation. This can be seen in the last line of the speech when he states “America is not the world and if America is going to become a nation, she must find a way-and this child must help her to find a way-to use the tremendous potential and tremendous energy which this child represents. If this country does not find a way to use that energy, it will be destroyed by that energy”. This logically explains the rout the United States will take if it keeps on discriminating against African Americans, especially when it comes to education. He challenges his
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