From the days pilgrims first kissed the land so rich, to the days they proclaimed the songs of liberty, America was indeed “the land of the free,” as Francis Scott Key once said. Those who flocked to America had the same dreams of freedom which they have been denied the right of in their mother land. They came to America with the pursuit of happiness. Once they obtained their happiness, their new found freedom, they undoubtedly revolted against all those who stood against their beloved treasure. Before any of this could be achieved, many struggled. Tears of anguish, disappear, and agony have been shed through years of hunger and slavery, yet little was done to give people the right to live as if “all men [were] created equal.” Many groups struggled to get the freedom we now have. I am Joaquin, Necessary to Protect Ourselves, and What Is An American all portray group struggles for freedom, which persuade others to fight for freedom many of us still have not achieved through the reader’s appeal to their emotions.
I am Joaquin is a story of an immigrant “lost in a world of confusion.” This epic poem traces the adventure of Joaquin through his courageous deeds, which portray the values of his race. Using “loaded language” rich in connotations and vivid imagery, the author captures a scene of suffering, not just the suffering of one individual, but of his whole race. Phrases such as, “I shed the tears of anguish/ as I see my children disappear,” (lines 24-25) and “I have survived the toils and slavery/ of the fields,” (45-46) creates such imagery and terror in ones heart that they sympathize for the speaker and move them to agree with their call for freedom. The whole poem is a connotation for the speaker’s cry to just accept him for who he is. The reader can sympathize with the speaker’s feeling of rejection. This sympathy leads to acceptance, acceptance of the speaker and his call for freedom. Rejection is one of man’s greatest fears, fear that no one wants to feel. Out of the dread of feeling fear, one is inspired to fight, fight for freedoms they have not yet achieved.
A little weaker on its emotional appeal is Malcom X’s interview with Les Crane, Necessary to Protect Ourselves, and What is an American. Malcom X uses more of a logical and ethical appeal by making comments such as “I think all of us should be critics of each other. Whenever you can’t stand criticism you can never grow.” This comment, in contrast to the style of those made in I am Joaquin, which were more emotional rather than ethical, creates less of the urge to go out and make a difference. Rather than doing this, it creates a tone of hate, unlike in I am Joaquin where his comments created a tone of sympathy. This hate can be taken many negative ways which may cause someone’s intention to do good by turning to doing wrong by offending someone with criticism. The same tone is created in What is an American.
By making Europe seem as a place that takes advantage of its people and makes them work laboriously, the reader is exposed to an anti-European feeling. Such phrases from What is an American as, “Can a wretch who wanders about, who works and starves, whose life is a continual scene of sore affliction or pinching penury-can that man call England or any other kingdom his country,” give this anti-European feeling and exaggerates to the truth to appeal to ones ethical senses that one should not have to live under these conditions. These stories do create inspiration, but inspiration that tells one to cause an uprising, which in the end might not be the most effective way to go.
With much evaluation and contrast, it can be seen that the most effective call for freedom using appeals to ones emotional side is I am Joaquin. The “loaded language” rich in meanings and vivid imagery persuades one to go make a difference, a difference that is not only beneficial to themselves, but to generations after.