What To The Slave Is Fourth Of July Rhetorical Analysis

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“Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality” ( Kazantzakis). This quote reminds many of what Frederick Douglass was trying to do the day he gave his famous speech. Frederick Douglass is an African American who experienced slavery during his lifetime, and was a firm believer in equality. He also taught himself how to read and at the age of twenty he escaped from slavery and was finally free. While delivering the speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” to the public, Frederick Douglass illustrates logos, pathos, and repetition in order to display to the audience that racial division is occurring everywhere in the United States throughout the time period of the 1800’s, despite having the national celebrations …show more content…

When an author or a person giving a speech repeatedly uses the same words over and over again, that would signal to the listener or reader that it is an important part to what they are trying to get across. One of the specific words that Douglass used often was “man” or “manhood” for instance he said, “it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race,” and “ crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced” (Douglass). The meaning behind the reoccurrence of those words is that he is emphasizing that the humanity of everyone is shared, including those who are slaves. He is wanting everyone to be seen as equals and by using the generic term, man, he isn’t specifying a specific group he is just talking to the public. On top of that he also repeats the words, “you” and “your”. A specific part in the speech when he says those words is when he was asking a question to the listeners. The question was, “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” (Douglass). The use of those two words is to signal to the all the white people in the crowd the amount of distance that is between Douglass and them. It also signals to his listeners that since he is black that he doesn’t and probably will never share the same attitude toward the Fourth of July that all the whites

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