Rhetorical Analysis Of Declaration Of Independence

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Many believe that every human being must be treated as equals. It is significant that this law is strictly practiced in order to prevent a chaotic and rioting society. Thomas Jefferson, framer of the Declaration of Independence and secretary of state to President George Washington at the time, declared that “all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This statement greatly appealed to numerous colonists after gaining freedom from Great Britain; however, not everyone agreed that Jefferson’s words are reinforced accordingly. One such individual who was the son of former slaves, a farmer, astronomer, mathematician, surveyor, …show more content…

To begin, Banneker utilizes Aristotle’s “three modes of persuasion”: pathos, logos, and ethos. In his introduction paragraph, Banneker appeals to pathos when he demands the audience, Jefferson, “to recall to [his] mind that time in which the arms and tyranny of the British Crown” was in control of the colonists (Line 1-2). The author provides this analogy between the colonists’ situation with Great Britain and the slaves’ situation in order for Jefferson to relate to the slaves on a common ground. It helps trigger past, unpleasant memories of Britain’s autocratic rule in an attempt for the audience to feel empathy for the slaves. This technique is a logical approach to persuade Jefferson of Banneker’s argument against slavery since his introduction serves as a mechanism to connect two opposing social classes (the enslaved people versus authority figures); hence, Jefferson would more likely comply to Banneker’s belief that slavery should not exist. Pathos is also evident when Banneker alludes to Job, a religious figure in the Bible who endures much suffering. Towards the end of his letter, Banneker quotes Job’s message that one must “‘put [his] souls stead,’ thus shall [his] hearts be enlarged with kindness and …show more content…

For instance, Banneker cleverly uses diction in each beginning sentence of every paragraph. The word, “sir” is consistently used to identify Jefferson.“Sir” is a title that possesses a positive connotation and is often used to display great respect toward an individual. Although Banneker opposes Jefferson’s unreasonable beliefs, Banneker professionally “argues” with Jefferson in a very appropriate and polite method. Due to his calm (but also accusatory) tone, it helps reduce the tension between Banneker (He represents slaves’ voices) and Jefferson (a figure of authority); even though Jefferson may not agree with Banneker, the author’s choice of words helps make Jefferson listen to the unheard voices of society. Additionally, diction is noticeable when he states that “...reflect on that time in which every human aid appeared unavailable, and in which even hope and fortitude wore the aspect of inability to the conflict…” (Line 6-8). Adjectives such as “unavailable,” “hope.” “fortitude,” and “conflict” carry extremely contradictory connotations which add emphasis to Banneker’s argument. The author adds these words at the beginning of his letter to help foreshadow his argument through a very smooth transition. It enables the reader, Jefferson, to form a hypothesis with the given “hints.” Likewsise, due to these contradictory adjectives, it helps grasp Jefferson’s attention at

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