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Rhetorical Analysis - Essay Example

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The 4th July, 1852 speech delivered by Frederick Douglas is one of the greatest pieces of persuasion that have been used by any African American to protest against the racially biased treatment of the whites of America (Douglass 1). The audience of this speech included both the…
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Rhetorical Analysis
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Rhetorical Analysis Frederick Douglas’s July 4th, 1852 Speech The 4th July, 1852 speech delivered by Frederick Douglas is one of the greatest pieces of persuasion that have been used by any African American to protest against the racially biased treatment of the whites of America (Douglass 1). The audience of this speech included both the white and black American populations including the governmental authorities such as the founding fathers of the nation. The context in which the speech was delivered was the celebration of the Day of Independence for America. The purpose of his speech was to persuade the African American to not consider them as free. The purpose was even to make the White American population feel guilty of their atrocious behavior towards the African American population in order to gain sympathy and motivate them to give equal rights to African Americans. He quite effectively used the persuasion techniques of emotional appeal and credibility to persuade his audience.
The speech that was authored and presented by Douglas was quite persuasive for the African American population as well as the White American population because he was a credible actor who really knew the pressing issues faced by the African Americans. He is well qualified to deliver the speech and persuade the audience because he had himself experienced the atrocities that he experienced at the hands of the White Americans. He had experienced the misery of being a slave and was even one of the numerous leaders who led the Abolitionist Movements from the front. His experience provides him the mandate of being a credible speaker and author of the speech in the eyes of the audience. Furthermore his repeated citing of bible and the context in which he was citing the bible portrays him as a person who is knowledgeable.
Douglas continued to persuade the audience by appealing to the emotions of the African Americans who were still experiencing atrocities at the hands of the majority of the population of America. He uses various words and phrases to attract the emotions of his audience. For example, he uses the phrases such as “mournful wail of millions” in order to appeal to the audience’s emotions of sorrow as well as their emotion of begging to be helped (Douglass 1). Furthermore he uses the phrase “bleeding children” to appeal to the white audience to sympathies with the African Americans who were still suffering and were being treated as slaves (Douglass 1). His aim of using these terms to make the White population feel the pain that is being suffered by the African Americans and to help them and treat them as fellow citizens and not like dogs.
Douglas’ speech on the celebration of the Day of America’s Independence is a pure example of a persuasive speech that has the ability to motivate the White American population to feel guilty of their wrong doings and to provide the African American population with their true freedom. He is quite a credible speaker in the eyes of the audience because he is a person who has himself experienced the atrocities as a slave and he is even quite knowledgeable as he cites the Bible to make his claims. He uses emotional appeal to make the White American population feel guilty and sympathize with the African American population.
Works Cited
Douglass, Frederick. "Learning History." : Frederick Douglass: "The Mournful Wail of Millions" 4 July 1852. Web. 9 Mar. 2015. . Read More
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