Essay Liberty or Death

1758 Words Feb 28th, 2013 8 Pages
Liberty or Death “Liberty or death!” This phrase was used by both Patrick Henry and Malcolm X in their speeches. Even though these men gave their speeches almost two centuries apart their goal was the same. They both wanted to convince their audience to fight for freedom. Through the use of rhetorical strategies, Patrick Henry was successful in convincing the colonies to fight for their freedom from Britain and Malcolm X was successful in convincing African Americans to fight for their rights. To begin with, Patrick Henry was one of the first opponents of British rule in the colonies. He was famous for giving speeches on American Democracy. Patrick Henry’s wit, eloquence, and rhetorical gifts made him a great orator. He eventually …show more content…
The words “oppression,” “exploitation,” and “degradation” are all strong words to remind the audience of how badly they have been treated. He also uses parallel structure by repeating the words “at the hands of the white man” throughout the sentence. He repeats those words to emphasize and make it clear to the audience that many white people have treated African Americans horribly (Malcolm X). After, Malcolm X uses an anti-thesis when he says, “I don’t see any American-Dream; I see an American nightmare.” He uses an anti-thesis to convince the audience that there are no dreams only nightmares. The words “dream” and “nightmare” are opposites used to convince the audience that their lives are nightmares because of the white man (Malcolm X). As Malcolm X continues, he tells the audience, “Your vote, your dumb vote, your ignorant vote, your wasted vote.” Malcolm X uses anaphora and parallel structure to emphasize to the audience that they wasted the vote that they had. He repeats the words “your” and “vote.” He also uses loaded language when he says “dumb,” “ignorant,” and “wasted” to describe how the audience voted (Malcolm X). Then Malcolm X asks the audience, “How can you thank a man for giving you what’s already

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