Rhetoric of Benjamen Banneakers Letter

716 Words3 Pages
After the Revolutionary War, the next big thing America would fight for would be slavery. It became a hot issue, and many people began to go against. Benjamin Banneker decided that, instead of take up arms, he would write about it. So, when he wrote his letter to Thomas Jefferson, he know it would have to work. And what else would help with that but some well placed, well used rhetorical strategies? Banneker starts off with an allusion, his first rhetorical strategy. He reminds Thomas Jefferson of the recent Revolutionary War, and how Britain basically held America as it's slave. Jefferson didn't know what truly being free felt like, so they fought for freedom. And this is the reason this allusion works. It helps remind Jefferson of the time he felt like a slave, and how hard it was that he was forced to fight for freedom. Should the new America really be doing that to people? That's the kind of thing Banneker was trying to get Jefferson to think about. If Jefferson had a similar experience as the slaves in America during that time, it doesn't take a genius to connect the dots and remind Jefferson not to treat African Americans like Britain treated him. That's just one allusion. Banneker both starts and ends with allusions: the ending one is an allusion to the Bible, specifically the story of Job. "Put your souls in their souls stead" is the quote he uses, reminding Jefferson to act like Job, and see what they're doing to the slave isn't right. Just those two allusions are enough to convince a right-minded human, but Banneker goes on in his rhetorical use. Before Benjamin talks about Job, he uses a slew of hortative sentences. He is calling Thomas Jefferson to action, urging him to stand up and do something about the inhumanity that was slavery, just as he did before with Britain and the Revolution. "Wean yourselves from those narrow prejudices which
Open Document