Rhetorical Analysis Of Frederick Douglass Speech On Hypocrisy

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On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass delivered a speech to the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society. In order to persuade his audience of the evils of slavery and the hypocrisy of the Fourth of July, Douglass utilizes emotional appeal, strong diction, and figurative language. Douglass utilizes emotional appeal in order to emotionally connect with his audience. He shows the audience that he has personal experience with slavery by mentioning, “To me the American slave-trade is a terrible reality. When a child, my soul was often pierced with a sense of its horrors”. This reminder of Douglass’ slave pastone of the many way that Douglass tries to humanize the issue slavery. The personal connection allows the audience to see slaves as the humans rather than the property they shown as. In addition to trying to humanize slaves,Douglass also brings to light the way they are treated by their masters. He states, “There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man, (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death,” showcasing not only the difficulty of a slave’s life, but how their lives hang constantly in jeopardy. Douglass explains to the audience, abolitionist and others who wish for slavery to end, that they allow murder to take place as slavery…show more content…
Douglass puts to use personification and metaphors to show the path needed to end slavery. When speaking on the state of slavery in current times Douglass mentions, “Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages”. This language refers to the institution of slavery and the large changes needed to change it. The metaphor hopes to portray the task of ending slavery to the audience. In addition, Douglass states, “above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions!”. This statement pushes once more the pain the slaves feel against the rest of the
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