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What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July Rhetorical Analysis

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“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” This quote from Frederick Douglass expresses his struggle with slavery throughout his lifetime much like his speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Douglass was asked to give this speech for an Independence Day celebration, but took an unexpected turn down a path his audience may not have been ready for. He uses ethos, pathos and an abrupt tone to present his argument against slavery. Nearly everyone has heard of Frederick Douglass, or at least knows he had something to do with slavery. This creates a strong form of ethos, specifically extrinsic ethos, entirely in his favor. Calling him to the stage, they surely expected him to speak about slavery; a topic he has the most credibility on. The audience already being familiar with Douglass resulted in extrinsic ethos; he used this upper hand to sway their opinions toward his side of things. Douglass spoke about why slaves didn’t associate the Fourth of July with the happiness that free people did. He had…show more content…
If you look back and evaluate it deeper you will realize that it doesn't necessarily start off that way. Toward the beginning, Douglass’ tone is more understanding and formal toward the audience. He asked questions and expressed his feelings about the celebration but wasn't aggressive about the topic. His anger and aggravation toward the audience escalated starting toward the middle of his speech. Although outrage isn't usually an author's first choice in tone, it matched his viewpoints and allowed the audience to grasp his ideas in the same way that he does. Throughout Douglass's speech, he exceeds expectations by adding excellent examples of ethos, pathos, and unique tone. These examples help the audience see his viewpoints and helps him connect with them. The literary devices used in his speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”, aided in his fight against
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