Frederick Douglass the Great Sin and Shame of America Speech Analysis

1030 WordsMay 21, 20155 Pages
A Thousand Chains Footsteps silently break through the loud cheers of a large crowd. A man walks out, the eyes of hundreds of people turning to him; hands outstretched; grabbing, needing, wanting for him to begin. They hunger for his words. They wait, silence filling every breath. Not a molecule seemed to move as all eyes fell upon the man. His back straight with pride, his eyes piercing with knowledge and experience, and a super power that can change the mind of any human being. The man takes a deep breath and from his parted lips come the words that will shape what we see as the United States of America as we know it today. This man’s name is Frederick Douglass, and he is the one who has shaped our nation as we see it today. In his speech The Great Sin and Shame of America, Frederick Douglass shows that slavery is a sin and it is hurtful to celebrate a holiday like “Independence Day” by asking him as an ex-slave to speak about the independence and freedom he will always be denied. He and his people are left to rot in the heat of slavery while everyone else can speak of their won freedom. In this essay, it will be shown how Frederick Douglass uses different rhetorical devices like imagery and rhetorical questions which he uses to support his claim that slavery is sinful and wrong. In his speech The Great Sin and Shame of America, Frederick Douglass tends to use a great amount of rhetorical questions so that he may draw a reader deeper into his text and make the reader question their own beliefs on slavery. In the first paragraph of his speech, Douglass states, “Fellow Citizens: Pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I,

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