The Race Questions By Paul Laurence Dunbar Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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The white people seem to brush off the ruins of the Civil War while the African Americans were left with broken promises and discrimination after the war. Many African Americans were under the impression that they would prove their worth and somehow crawl out of discrimination by fighting in the war. However, they were still under the cloud of prejudice and stereotype after risking their lives. Paul Laurence Dunbar is a poet that was often recognized for his criticism about the discrimination that the African Americans faced. One of his famous pieces, The Race Questions Discussed (1898), contained his opinions about the treatment they were receiving. Dunbar uses logic, diction, and example to convey his belief that the country has let his people down. He uses logic to show hypocrisy, diction, to provide tone, and example, to compare the actions to horrific events. To begin with, Dunbar uses logic to address societal inequality. Many African Americans enlisted hoping for equality but Americans continued to strip them of their rights. He writes, “Negroes, you may fight for us, but you may not vote for us.” (645) He successfully emphasizes the irrationality and contradictory with the American opinion by questioning why white soldiers were greeted with praise, but the African American…show more content…
For example, Dunbar states, “Rome stated her thirst for blood and called it civilization… America strides through the ashes of burning homes, over the bodies of murdered men women and children, holding aloft the banner of progress.”(646). He compares the treatment amongst African Americans to the horrific slaughters that happened suggesting that America will cover up the events and call it a necessity. He successfully uses example to show the audience the potential outcome and hopes they would change their ways. It make his claim stronger because he points out the flaws and contradiction in American
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