United States Declaration of Independence and Jefferson

Topics: Thomas Jefferson, United States Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin Pages: 1 (261 words) Published: August 13, 2013
In 1791, Benjamin Banneker wrote to Thomas Jefferson to argue against slavery. Benjamin, being the son of former slaves, wanted to express his feelings toward slavery thoroughly. Banneker uses various significant rhetorical strategies to reveal his opposition to slavery. Rhetorical strategies used by   Banneker are repetition, the rhetorical triangle, and allusions.                 Thomas Jefferson was the framer of the Declaration of Independence and secretary of state to President George Washington.  Banneker uses repetition to emphasis the authority he holds toward Jefferson. Throughout his letter, Banneker refers to Jefferson as “sir.” The repetition of “sir” enables Jefferson to sense respect from Banneker.                 Throughout his letter, Banneker uses allusions in his letter to bring back some of Jefferson’s memories. In line 21 an allusion towards something Jefferson himself wrote. He argues that, in the Declaration of Independence, it states that “all men are created equal” and that he is contradicting himself by not doing anything to abolish slavery. In lines 48-50, Banneker uses an allusion from the Bible. He quotes Job to form an analogy as to what Jefferson should do. Like Job, Jefferson must put his soul in the souls of others. Banneker wanted to make Jefferson realize what the slaves are going through.                 Banneker uses the rhetorical triangle to appeal to Jefferson’s senses. Pathos is used in line 20 to appeal to Jefferson’s emotions. Banneker praises Jefferson for his doctrine by writing that it “is worthy to be recorded and remembered in all succeeding age.” Logos is used in line 45 to appeal to Jefferson’s logic.  Banneker appeals to logic 
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