What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July

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“What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” is a very moving piece about what the Fourth of July means to slaves. The speech was given by Fredrick Douglas in Rochester, New York, on July 5, 1852. His use of ethos, pathos and logos made this an extremely effective speech.

The speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” opens with Frederick Douglas explaining how he was asked to give a speech on the Fourth of July. He then gives a brief statement about how hard his journey has been and now he will try to lay out his thoughts to the audience. He talks about how this is a day of celebration for their nation, not his nation. Douglas talks about how young the nation is, and how many obstacles they will soon have to face. He goes on to talk about the hardships of the people seventy six years ago; that now they can look at the situation and say the British were terrible to the colonies. He says that the Fourth of July is the first big feat for their nation’s history. He explains how the writers of the Declaration of Independence were very peaceful men and lived by the rules of liberty and equality, yet they didn’t extend that to all people. He explains that people may realize the effects of slavery but choose not to take action against it. Throughout the entire speech he enforces the fact that America and its freedoms do not belong to him but that they belong to white Americans. Now that there has been an overview of the content laid out in the speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July”, there can be a further analysis of the ethos, pathos and logos used throughout this piece.

The ethos for this paper is mostly the fact the Fredrick Douglas was a slave himself. In his speech he was able to talk first-hand about his own experiences. Douglas was also a very intelligent man; he taught himself how to read and how to write. Also looking at his style of writing and the complexity of his writing, you can tell that he isn’t just literate, but is far beyond most...
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