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The Fourth Of July Rhetorical Analysis

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Many people when they hear the words “Fourth of July” they think about fireworks, cookouts, and sparklers! During the 1850’s it is a day that reminded many of the horrors and injustices in the world. On July 4, 1852 Frederick Douglass, a former American slave and an abolitionist leader, spoke in Rochester, New York about the affectation of celebrating independence. In his speech, “The Hypocrisy of American Slavery” he claims celebrating independence when there are slaves widespread is unethical. To convince the reader of his claim he uses rhetorical questions, word choice and anthesis in hopes to shed light and spark action on the wrongful situation.
First, Frederick Douglass uses rhetorical questions to address the listener with the social inequalities between black and white people. For example, Frederick Douglass says, “Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice embodied in the Declaration of Independence extended to us?” (para. 1). He is implying that the rights stated in the Declaration of Independence are not given to those of African American race. The audience will begin to realize that they are not treated with the same liberties as those who are considered free. This will get the
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The use of questions allows the listener to think about what truly is being celebrated and how hypocritical it is when there are millions of slaves that are not granted with the same liberties. He uses strong word choice to inflict sympathy and anger in order to motivate the crowd to stand up to the injustice. His use of antithesis emphasized the bias blacks are treated with and how they are not able to celebrate freedom. In the end the audience is left shocked, horrified, angered, and driven to take action against the hypocrisy of celebrating the fourth of
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