Benjamin Banneker Allusion

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, American Revolutionary War, Thomas Jefferson Pages: 2 (638 words) Published: March 10, 2013
Benjamin Banneker, was a well-educated man and the son of former slaves, writes in his letter to Thomas Jefferson in 1791 that slavery is against the foundations that the country based upon itself upon. Banneker supports his argument by recalling texts and moments of history that was crucial to the foundation of America and the contradictory aspects of slavery. Banneker uses several rhetorical techniques including tone, allusion, diction, ethos, pathos, and counterargument to make his position of the given subject clear and to make Mr. Jefferson change his own opinion about slavery, The author’s purpose is to show Jefferson the contradictions of slavery and and eventually persuade him to abolish itslavery. One of the most importantAmong rhetorical devices used, one of the most important in this letter is allusion. It is shown in many cases within the letter where allusions have been made to justify Banneker’s argument on abolishing slavery. The first allusion in this essay is his reference to the revolutionary war in the first paragraph and saying “you cannot but acknowledge that the present freedom and tranquility… is the blessing of Heaven.” Here, he is showing that the suppression of Britain led to hopeless situations, eventually leading into the revolutionary war. He justifies his argument using this , saying that slavery is even more suppressing under even harsher conditions and that this it should be abolished. Another instance of allusion is when he quotes the Declaration of Independence. He reminds Jefferson that there is no bigger contradiction than slavery in a country based on the “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal and that they are endowed… with certain unalienable rights…” By quoting one of the most important texts in the history of America, Banneker successfully justifies his argument on the abolition of slavery. Lastly, he refers to the Bible, mentioning Job and quoting his words “put your souls in their souls stead,” to show the...
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