Essay on Rhetorical Analysis Of The Speech By Fredrick Douglass

800 Words Sep 27th, 2015 4 Pages
All great speakers require a strong voice and a determined gusto to deliver their ideas and arguments to an audience of critical listeners. The speaker must first begin with a strong start by introducing the key elements of his point of view. These key elements are essential to creating an attentive audience and portraying the truth of the message the speaker is trying to get across. He must also establish common ground with the audience based on acknowledged facts and agreed premises. Such is the case in the speech given by Fredrick Douglass, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” The context in which Fredrick Douglass gave his speech to the Ladies Anti-Slavery Society, his effective use of pathos and logos to convince the audience and his language and style lend itself to a strong argument.
The context is critical to understanding the point of view that Douglass is trying to convey. On July 5th, 1852, Douglass addressed a women’s anti-slavery group, the Ladies Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, New York, discussing the hypocrisy of a black man celebrating the 4thof July. His basic premise is that a black man celebrating the 4thof July is a paradox. He addresses the issue by saying that a black man cannot celebrate the 4thof July, because he does not have the same freedom as the white man. He states, “The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me.” (378) Therefore, a slave cannot celebrate the 4thof July because he does not…

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