Frederick Douglass’s Significance
Frederick Douglass gave a great elaboration in his speech the Meaning of the Fourth of July. He started off calm in the beginning and then suddenly switched dramatically to frustration and anger in the middle. He intended a lot in this speech towards the abolitionists, and wanted them to have their view on how slavery really was for the African Americans. What he intended on was not only respect from the abolitionists but action compelling from them. The abolitionists weren’t rallied up or upset from this. Douglass wanted them to take action; he basically said they were doing worse than nothing. He complies towards them in a number of phrases in his speech, but then hastily refers straight back towards the Declaration of Independence. The abolitionists knew what they were getting brought into from him giving this speech, and Douglass prepared excessively for that. He used ‘ethos,’ ‘pathos,’ and ‘logos’ to bring out his perspective towards the audience in different tones throughout his speech.
His tone starts off calm and soft with the ideas from the Founders who signed Thomas Jefferson’s speech. “Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men.”(Fredrick Douglass Speech). He liked the ideas from the document, and he was educated as a little boy from the work of the Founding Fathers. Although he had great respect for the Founders, he quickly draws out his perspective of it towards him and slaves.
Douglass utilizes the language format ‘ethos’ in his speech. Since he had a difficult past of being an ex-slave, the audience developed respect for him. This created a strong connection between Douglass and the audience. He stood up there reciting this speech in his own point of view of...