Rhetorical Analysis Of Chief Seattle's Oration To Governor

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In his oration to Governor Isaac I. Stevens Chief Seattle, a Native American leader addresses the governor's request to buy Indian lands and create reservations. Through his oration Seattle boldly presents his stance on the issue of Indian lands, representing his people as a whole. On account for his native people Chief Seattle's stands up for their land through the use of imagery, parallels, and rhetorical questions. Chief Seattle communicates his purpose by using bold imagery that directs the audience to the cause that Seattle is speaking of. He uses metaphors and similes comparing aspects of nature to the issue at hand. He compares his words to "the stars that never change", and that "the great chief of Washington can rely upon with as much certainty as he can upon the return of the sun." Seattle does this in order to bring emphasis to the natural world and the beloved land that the "White Man" is taking away from their people. Seattle's use of imagery brings attention to the glorious natural features of the land he is defending as well as empowers and amplifies the words he presents. Chief Seattle uses parallels to set a distinct contrast between his people and the English settlers. He claims that "Today is fair. Tomorrow it may be overcast with clouds." The clouds being the "White Man" that will take …show more content…

He questions "how then can we be brother" in order to bring about the statement that they "are two distinct races with separate origins." Chief Seattle, through his language clearly conveys to the audience the true purpose for his oration. While his overall message is respectful and sincere, his choice to use rhetorical questions contributes to the underlying tones of bitterness and resentment he feels toward the "White Man". Seattle's tone portrayed through his choice of words contribute to the overall purpose and message of the

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