Benjamin Banneker Analysis
At the turn of the 18th century, forces secreted by British colonization imposed an evident state of corruption in the United States, leaving an indelible scar upon our nation. Thomas Jefferson, who proclaimed his advocacy toward equality, seemed to stray from the intent of abolishing inequality between man. Benjamin Banneker, who validates his intellect through his evident knowledge of Jefferson’s motives, dedicates a letter in regards to questioning Thomas Jefferson’s role as Secretary of State, in a dire attempt to uphold justice in the name of his father, who suffered a life as a slave. As the letter unfolds, the author implements a critical use of rhetorical strategies that inflict a sensation of guilt upon Jefferson, portraying him as an immoral man, due to his lack of attention to civil rights. As Banneker’s letter unfolds, his selection of detail allows him to remind Jefferson of his prior imprisonment by cleverly referring to the British Colonization of America, as “tyranny of the British Crown” (Line 2), emphasizing their imperialistic ideals. In paragraph 2, the author’s intellect of Jefferson’s proclaimed motives is evidently demonstrated as he cites his infamous passage from the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (Lines 21-25) By deliberately addressing Jefferson’s own beliefs, Banneker is able to successfully inflict guilt upon Jefferson, forcing him to realize his personal immorality. As evidenced by the essay, Banneker repeatedly utilizes the term “sir” in each paragraph when addressing Jefferson. Banneker’s intention revolves around establishing a distinct sensation of ethical appeal, and accurately demonstrates Banneker’s respect for Jefferson, despite his inner resentment. By referring to Thomas Jefferson as...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document