Frederick Douglass 4th Of July Speech Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Essay What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July

704 WordsSep 15th, 20113 Pages

“What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” is a very moving piece about what the Fourth of July means to slaves. The speech was given by Fredrick Douglas in Rochester, New York, on July 5, 1852. His use of ethos, pathos and logos made this an extremely effective speech. The speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” opens with Frederick Douglas explaining how he was asked to give a speech on the Fourth of July. He then gives a brief statement about how hard his journey has been and now he will try to lay out his thoughts to the audience. He talks about how this is a day of celebration for their nation, not his nation. Douglas talks about how young the nation is, and how many obstacles they will soon have to face. He goes on to talk…show more content…

He used logos when he talked about the Declaration of Independence and its writers. This is a fact, so it appeals to logic. Another place where he uses logic is where he talks about the fact that slaves are human. He points how people know this fact, but they just choose to ignore it. Another way that he appeals to logos is talking about how outrageous it is to have him making this speech, and that the people really do not understand the Fourth of July and crazy it is to think about it as a holiday for black people. Pathos, or appealing to the emotions is the greatest part of this speech. Douglas appealed to people’s emotions by talking about the fore fathers and all of their accomplishments. This really seems to bring out the nationalism in people. He also appeals to pathos when he talks about how the Fourth of July is theirs, and not his; and the fact they are having him speak there is just ridiculous. Another way Douglas appeals to pathos is he recites a powerful poem. This poem illustrates how slaves feel and they so desperately wish to be free. This really resonates with black people and makes white people really think about how not everyone is equal. Also the poem infers that it is God’s will that all men be equal and so it shall be that way. Using words like God really gets people emotional and gets them to listen. Fredrick Douglas’s speech about the Fourth of July and Slavery was a very

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What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July a Rhetorical Analysis

1100 WordsJul 24th, 20125 Pages

In his speech, What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?, Frederick Douglass passionately argues that to the slave, and even to the freed African American, the Fourth of July is no more than a mockery of the grossest kind. Douglas uses many rhetorical strategies to convey his powerful emotions on the subject, and the end result is a very effectively argued point. Douglass begins by asking a series of rhetorical questions, not without the use of sarcasm. He refers to "that" Declaration of Independence, instead of "the" Declaration of Independence, to stress the separation between his people and those who are not oppressed. In the next paragraph, he continues to ask rhetorical questions. The purpose of all these questions is to give…show more content…

He almost rubs it in their faces: that their proclaimed aspirations have not been tended to with the proper amount of effort and attention, and that all that has been put forth up to that point has failed miserably. The above quotation is comparable to saying "start trying or go home". The fact that he speaks so harshly to this particular audience only shows how passionately he feels for his own people. Back to the first page, Douglass makes a reference to the Bible. He applies his own situation to that of the one described by the quote. He is the one who can not forget about his people. He can not express joy, when his people express their pains. His argument is proved multiple times with the simple logic presented in his speech. It can be summed up with this: (1) This holiday is to rejoice for the sake of freedom and liberty. (2) My people have no freedom, have no liberty. (3) You rejoice. (4) My people mourn. (5) This holiday is a mockery to us. The reference to the mockery of it all is made over and over again, and with such a simply logical statement, one can not possibly argue it's validity. Douglass moves on to speak of the wrongs committed by America, and how they have piled sky-high to the point of no return. He states that any just man who is not prejudice shall see that his words are of truth. He speaks of the Constitution, he speaks of the Bible, and he speaks of God. With such credited references backing up his argument, it would

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