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Douglass And Lincoln’s Past Voices Essay

1520 words - 6 pages

The Dark Ages were before the Renaissance, a time of intellectual darkness and barbarity where life itself is almost ‘missing’, because not much is known about it (The Editors). The 19th century could also be considered another, but colossally unalike, ‘Dark Ages’ to represent the hardships that each individual suffered (Colossal). It is a different dark from the actual Dark Ages, but with slavery, racism, and war, it has its reasons for being called the same thing. “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” and “Second Inaugural Address” were written in the 19th century where these subjects take place. The key points of it were abolitionists, slaves, and the war between the Confederates and the Union. Between these messes were two important people who both made their speeches specifically about slavery, equality, freedom, and war. Frederick Douglass was one of these important people. Born into slavery, he had no free will. As he read newspaper articles, political writings, and literature, Douglass, as if he had a seeing glass, finally figured out what slavery really was and, from there, he became an abolitionist. The second crucial person to speak was none other than Abraham Lincoln, the knowledge-thriving 16th president (Abraham). These two men agreed that their topics not be pushed any further. In “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Douglass uses pathos for strong emotions supported through diction to express the fact that the fourth of July is nothing to slaves, and it is a dead argument. Lincoln in “Second Inaugural Address” uses logos through sarcasm to indicate freedom and equality.
Douglass believed American slavery could not be debated any further. On the Fourth of July this man had created a powerful speech, but felt as if he were being mocked. He even asked, “What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence?” when this Fourth of July was to celebrate America’s independence from Britain, and the thought of celebrating freed slaves was introduced that very day! The fourth of July meant nothing to slaves. In their time, equality did not exist. African Americans were slaves, and were described as low functioning, as if they really needed someone to tell them what to do for being different. Originally, the Fourth of July was about America’s independence from Britain, and the thought of that hung over everyone’s heads like a shrine. Why did they not consider the slaves when they were freed? It is because they were blind to what the Fourth of July ever meant; freedom. The idea of the Greek appeal, pathos, is to let the reader know that it is an emotional argument. It should not be taken lightly, but rather heavy at heart and maybe even reconsidered or thought deeply about afterwards. Douglass used pathos to make his argument emotional and clear. In paragraph three Douglas scribes, “This fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of...

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