Joyce Dunbar Rhetorical Devices

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Select one of the poems and explain why the poet is effective in presenting his message. Consider such elements: rhythm, rhyme, diction, imagery, and purpose. In this Petrarchan sonnet, Dunbar makes clear his message and expression of the pain of racial injustices after the Civil War. Douglass, as depicted as a great leader, is called upon for comfort through this problem that America faces. The purpose of this poem I feel is to represent the struggles the African Americans had to endure during their time being slaves while offering hope for the black community, letting the reader knows that one day someone will lead them out of this struggle and into their promise land. The poet does these in this elegy through the use of several techniques such as apostrophe,…show more content…
In this poem, Dunbar explains that African Americans have allowed the mistreatment get the better of them. He addresses Douglass to remember his strong words and hope it serves as a comforter in the phrase "through the lonely dark". In the phrase “voice high-sounding o'er the storm”, Dunbar uses symbolism on the word “storm” which symbolizes segregation. With a calm tone, the speaker is addressing Douglass of all of this and all that is wrong in the world. Also, the use of visual and auditory imagery allows the reader to depict vividly the surrounds of the slave times and the seriousness of the struggles they are faced with. The sound is shown in the phrase “voice high-sounding o’er the storm” and the visuals are shown in the line “Saw, salient, at the cross of devious ways”. The poet concludes with the use of pathetic fallacy in the phrase “lonely dark”. This is used to evict emotion onto the reader with the depiction of the state of loneliness. Overall, Dunbar makes clear the message, as well as fulfils the purpose of this poem for readers of all
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