Ethan Holmes Professor Hohmann ENG 101 9/25/11 Frederick Douglass is trying to persuade his audience by using number of charismatic traits, such as ethos, pathos, and logos. Douglass starts out his essay by expressing what the Fourth of July is to slaves in comparison to the rest of America: “What have I , or those I represent, to do with your national independence”(Douglass 480)? Douglass has credibility because he was a slave(486).
He states: “Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them”(480). If Douglass was never a slave, the quote wouldn’t had been as powerful in its deliverance. Douglass uses pathos to describe an emotional event that anyone can relate to; since everyone agrees that children are so innocent. Suddenly you hear a quick snap… your ears are saluted with a scream, that seems to have torn its way to the centre of your soul”(486). Douglass is a very good writer and speaker, he does argumentative description very well. The thought of someone cruel enough to whip the flesh off of a woman’s back while she’s caring her baby, is chilling. Douglass uses a lot of descriptive writing mixed with pathos throughout his essay, and its astonishing how effective it is.
The argument itself, or logos, is slavery. Douglass illustrates his argument throughout the essay. For instance, “There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him”(482). Again, at the end of his essay: “There are forces in operation which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery”(487). Frederick Douglass was a master of persuasion, with ethos, pathos, and logos, in his arsenal of charisma.
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