Rhetorical Analysis Of The Hypocrisy Of American Slavery

836 Words4 Pages

In The Hypocrisy of American Slavery, Frederick Douglas talks to his audience about his reaction when he was asked to speak on Independence Day to a crowd of abolitionists at Rochester, New York.. His reaction being that he doesn’t really understand why he was asked to deliver a speech there, he doesn't feel as if he has a reason to celebrate; because he, along with most other African Americans didn’t feel free, and at that time there were still millions of African Americans who legitimately weren’t. He tries to convince his audience that we shouldn’t be celebrating independence day simply because, half the country wasn’t free at the time. He does this using Foreshadowing, Irony, and symbolism. To start off, Frederick Douglass asks the audience …show more content…

He points out that in the bible and the constitution the main focus is freedom and liberty. He points out that, even though these two things, mainly the bible are an average document in an American home,freedom and liberty are often disregarded. He states, “Dare to call in question and to denounce …everything that serves to perpetuate slavery”. Basically, he is saying if these are main documents in our country and that are meant to deliver liberty, why we even have to question if slavery is morally okay. He speaks about if a slave should be considered a man, slaveholders acknowledge it in there laws for their government, yet slaves are treated less than men. Douglass says, “There are seventy-two crimes in the state of Virginia, which, if committed by a black, subject to him to punishment of death; while only two of these same crimes will subject a white man to like punishment”. In the end of his speech: “What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim”. This one line changes the way an African American looks at the Independence Day forever. The Fourth of July isn’t just a day to celebrate the independence and freedom in America. It is a day to look back at what America could and has to become. We can’t be a country that is divided between

Open Document