AP English Language & Composition
5, July 2013
In Chief Seattle’s oration to Governor Isaac I. Stevens, Seattle attempts to fight for equality for Native Americans despite their differences in social status with the Caucasians. Through the use of rhetorical strategies such as figurative language, organization, diction and tone, Seattle attacks the Governor’s malicious deeds, while at the same time praises him, and reminds him that the Native people, although presented as weak beings, are not entirely powerless.
Seattle begins his oration by addressing the Governor as “the great” and “the Good White Chief”, which appeals to the Governor by feeding his ego and ethnic pride. Through this, Chief Seattle makes it clear that he recognizes the white’s superior status. This tactic used by the Chief insinuates sarcasm, but at the same time, brings the Governor to look favorably upon Seattle and his people despite his mocking intentions. By taking responsibility for the native’s condition, Seattle uses this strategy to successfully appear respectable and admirable to the Governor, although in reality he believes that his people are not the ones to be blamed. This exemplifies the Chief’s efforts to remain on the Governor’s “good side”. But the mockery does not end there; Seattle refers to the native warriors as beings whose “hearts are black”, accusing them and not the whites for jeopardizing the relationship between the Native Americans and Caucasians. To increase the authenticity behind his words, Seattle incorporates this simile into his speech, “my words are like stars that never change” this again, adds emphasis on his loyalty to work with the whites. By presenting himself as responsible, reasonable, inferior, apologetic, and respectful, Seattle makes an effort to win Stevens’ favor.
In addition to promoting his loyalty and inferior status of his people, Seattle describes the distinct differences between the natives and the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document