Rhetorical Devices in Frederick Douglass

January 9, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Anthropology, Mythology
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Rhetorical Devices in Frederick Douglass

Birth of Logos Logos = One’s reasoned argument Exigence = The drive to speak Purpose



Rhetoric 

Definition: the art of using words in speaking (or writing) to advance the author’s Logos so as to persuade or influence others

We study rhetoric for two reasons:

1. to perceive how oral and written language is at work 2. to become proficient in applying the resources of language in our own speech and writing

Rhetorical Devices 

Definition: specific, identifiable language techniques used in rhetoric. Two types of Rhetorical devices are 1. content-centered (what) 2. form-embedded (how) Speakers utilize form-embedded devices to emphasize content.

Content-Centered: Pathos 

Appeal to emotion – e.g., empathy, compassion, outrage

Example: – “…after rolling up his sleeves, he commenced to lay on the heavy cowskin, and soon the warm, red blood (amid heart-rending shrieks from her, and horrid oaths from him) came dripping to the floor” (5).

Content-Centered: Ethos Appeal to common values and community expectations.  Ethos reflects… 

– Ethical values and/or the character or spirit of a culture – shared assumptions of a people Example: – universal components of the human experience – “I would sometimes say to them [the white boys who helped Douglass learn to read], I wish I could be as free as they would be when they got to be men. ‘You will be free as soon as you are twenty-one, but I am a slave for life! Have not I as good a right to be free as you have?’ ” (23).

Content-Centered: Irony 

A contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually happens

The general characteristic of irony is to make something understood by expressing its opposite

Content-Centered: Irony 

3 types of irony in literature: – Verbal: a writer or speaker says one thing and means something entirely different – Dramatic: a reader or audience perceives something that a character in the story does not know (R&J example—Juliet is not dead…) – Situational: a writer shows a discrepancy between the expected results of some action or situation and the actual results (Of Mice and Men example—friendship/murder)

Form-Embedded: Alliteration 

Repetition of initial consonant sounds

Example: – “I nerved myself up again, and started on my way, through bogs, brier, barefoot and bareheaded, tearing my feet sometimes at nearly every step…” (40).

Form-Embedded: Assonance 

Repetition of vowel sounds within a sentence or across several sentences

Example: How now brown cow? (Repetition of the vowel sound “ow”)

Form-Embedded: Repetition 

Repeating of words and/or phrases throughout a passage or text for dramatic effect

Example: – “Work, work, work, was scarcely more the order of the day than of the night” (37-38).

Form-Embedded: Parallelism 

Repetition of a grammatical pattern – Used to emphasize and link related ideas – Adds balance, rhythm, and clarity to the sentence

Example: – “He [Covey] was always under every tree, behind every stump, in every bush, and at every window, on the plantation” (36).

Form-Embedded: Antithesis 

Establishes a clear, contrasting relationship between two ideas by joining them together, often in parallel structure

Example: – “The longest days were too short for him and the shortest nights were too long for him” (38).

Form-Embedded: Apostrophe 

When a speaker addresses an absent person, an abstract quality, or something non-human as if it were present and capable of responding

Example: – “My thoughts would compel utterance; and there, with no audience but the Almighty, I would pour out my soul’s complaint, in my rude way, with an apostrophe to the moving multitude of ship: -- ‘You are loosed from your moorings, and are free…’ ” (38).

Form-Embedded: Allusion 

A brief (usually indirect) reference to a person, place, or event, or to another literary work or passage

Example: – “In coming to a fixed determination to run away, we did more than Patrick Henry, when he resolved upon liberty or death” (51). – Patrick Henry: “I know not what course others

may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” -from Speech in the Virginia Convention

Form-Embedded: Hyperbole To utilize exaggerated language to call attention to the situation and/or to emphasize emotion  Examples: “I haven’t seen you in a century!” “That necklace must have cost you your life’s savings!” 

Form-Embedded: Oxymoron An expression in which two [or more] contradictory words are put together for dramatic effect  Examples: free slave; benevolent slave owner; oppressive freedom; benign dictatorship; cute ugliness 

Note: An oxymoron can be clever or it can be an error in diction; the context makes all the difference.

Form-Embedded: Paradox a

contradictory statement which is nevertheless true or which reveals a truth

Example: “It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own.” Herbert Hoover

Form-Embedded: Compare/Contrast 

To examine the similarities and differences between two (or more) people, places, objects, ideas, or situations. Often the similarities are established to set up and emphasize the differences.

Example: – “There were horses and men, cattle and women, pigs and children, all holding the same rank in the scale of being, and were all subjected to the same narrow examination” (27).

Form-Embedded: Figurative Language or Literary/Stylistic Devices 

Simile: a comparison between two different things using “like” or “as”

Metaphor: a direct comparison between two unlike things. Unlike a simile or analogy, metaphor asserts that one thing is another thing.

Form-Embedded: Figurative Language or Literary/Stylistic Devices 

Sensory details/imagery: images and details that emphasize or appeal to the five senses (touch, taste, sight, smell, sound)

Personification: the act of giving human qualities to a nonhuman thing.

Form-Embedded: Figurative Language or Literary/Stylistic Devices 

Symbolism: any object, person, place or action that has a meaning in itself and that also stands for something larger than itself

This presentation was created by Michelle Lew, Eric Unti, and M. Clare LePell with inspiration from Kevin McKinney

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