W.E.B. DuBois Analysis
In his speech, DuBois’ use of language achieves a number of differentiating purposes. One purpose, like many abolitionists before him, is to make clear that inequality is fallacious and simply unjustifiable by painting an understanding of its grotesque face. The underlying purpose, however, is that DuBois wanted his followers to truly grasp John Brown’s aggressive dogma in the hopes that they inherit it. His speech is powerful as it appeals to human senses, and has manipulating qualities to it. As DuBois praises John Brown for his effort and goals for equality among races, he deliberately distinguishes those goals as sacrifices, “on the altar of right.” DuBois effectively utilizes over a dozen literary devices, and of those devices, the three most powerful are antithesis, chiasmus, and parallel structure. Antithesis is the contrasting of two ideas in a phrase to elucidate that what is being contrasted is of two different elements. In DuBois’ speech, he achieves this and more at the end of his speech when he quickly identifies the divine brotherhood of all men, “white and black, rich and poor, fortunate and unfortunate.” The antithesis of these elements within a society, at first, conflict with his statement about brotherhood. In truth, by contrasting these elements, the listener or reader acquires a much more profound understanding of the meaning of brotherhood. No matter how different two races seem, they in truth are still human beings no matter what. No matter how large the discrepancy in terms of wealth between social classes may seem, one cannot exist without the other. DuBois emphasizes that there are truly no differences between whites and blacks and for this reason he believes that they should fight for equality like John Brown. Chiasmus is used to appeal to the Niagara Movement through the emphasis of logic. Chiasmus emits a certain balance to it whenever it is applied, because the two statements are direct...
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