Rhetorical Analysis Of What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July

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Douglass' 4th of July Speech: his Ethos, Pathos, and Logos Frederick Douglass was an exceptional individual who committed his life to the abolition of slavery, which was a harsh and oppressive system that left a lasting mark on American history. Douglass, an abolitionist and former slave, worked tirelessly to put an end to this cruel practice. In Rochester, New York, on July 5, 1852, he gave a thought-provoking speech titled "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" Douglass outlined the ethical and political effects of slavery in America in this speech. His escape from bondage, which allowed him to escape slavery, inspired him to become an activist and made him a well-known speaker not only in North America but the whole world, and audiences …show more content…

We may examine the rhetorical questions' effects on the audience and how they support Douglass in connecting with them by grouping them into various categories based on their topics. First, Douglass challenges the audience's humanity with a series of rhetorical questions. For instance, he queries, "Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?" The absurdity of celebrating independence while denying the fundamental rights and humanity of slaves. It makes the audience consider their own deeds and participation in the enduring of the slavery institution. Secondly Douglass challenges the audience's understanding of liberty by posing rhetorical queries. He asks, "To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?" These inquiries highlight the contradiction of praising freedom while restricting it to others. The audience is forced to consider the conflicts between their stated principles and the existence of slavery. Furthermore, Douglass uses rhetorical questions to question the audience's religious convictions. He criticizes their religious rituals by stating that "Your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages." These kinds of questions force the audience to reconsider if their religious beliefs correspond with the injustice and violence imposed toward enslaved

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