Benjamin Banneker Rhetorical Analysis

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Benjamin Banneker Rhetorical Analysis In his sentimental, yet candid letter, Banneker reminds the reader of their past with the British Crown and his oppression in order to relate the reader to the struggles faced by a hopeless slave. In lines 1-25, Banneker makes strong use of past experiences faced by colonists in order to connect his reader to slavery. Banneker starts off with reminding the reader of when, “the British Crown exerted every powerful effort in order to reduce you to a state of servitude.” The use of this concrete detail leads the reader to remember a time when they suffered a form of slavery in order to help the reader understand the struggles faced by slaves. The reader is then brought to remember when, “every human aid appeared unavailable.” Although this may be a hyperbole, it is successful in emotionally attaching the reader to the hardships of slavery. The hyperbole doesn’t come off as over- dramatization, but rather shows the negative significance of slavery. Banneker directly addresses his reader in saying, “there was a time in which you saw into the injustice of a state of slavery.” When saying this, Banneker proposes the question to his reader, you saw the insidious acts of slavery then, can’t you see it now? During lines 26-53, Banneker makes use of strong diction, allusion, and a repetition of ideas to gain the support of the reader against slavery. Strong diction is used when Banneker says, “so numerous a part of my brethren under groaning captivity and cruel oppression.” After gaining the reader’s respect in the first half, Banneker now pleads to help his “brethren” and he does so by using this indignant diction. Banneker also makes use of an allusion when saying, “imbibed with respect to them and as Job proposed to his friend.” This biblical allusion is meant to be an emotional appeal. It also relates the argument made by Banneker
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