Rhetorical Devices In The Declaration Of Independence

764 Words4 Pages
Rhetorical Analysis of the Declaration of Independence In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, a member of the Continental Congress, uses forms of rhetoric to assist in arguing why the colonists are seeking independence from Great Britain. Jefferson encapsulates the true meaning of the document within its first sentence; he displays the colonial experience at the hands of the King, and, at the same time, he gives them hope of a better future. Jefferson, and other likeminded men, comes together through this document not only to justify the overthrow of King George, but to formulate a new aggressive and citizen-based government. Through the declaration, Jefferson wants to persuade the American people to fight for their independence…show more content…
Generally speaking, the appeal to emotion is one of the most powerful rhetorical devices. Jefferson states, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” (Jefferson). Jefferson’s ultimate goal is to elicit emotions from the reader, and to collect them to a collective belief in unity and self-sacrifice. Thomas Jefferson wants to instill in the reader that a free country is something worth fighting for. As stated by Baylor School, the signers are “men who will risk everything to support the rights of man established by God” (Baylor School). Jefferson wants to inspire the rest of the American colonists to believe in the fight for freedom, even if it meant sacrificing their own lives. The Declaration of Independence is one of the most enduring documents because it reflects the will of the people. The genius of Thomas Jefferson is that he uses the rhetorical devices so effectively in his writing. The audience is moved by his words. To this day, people are inspired by his words. This could a testament to his use of the rhetorical devices of logos, ethos, anaphora, and
Open Document