The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson plays an important role to the lives of the American people. Gaining liberty from the authority of the British colonizers signaled the right of the Americans to decide their own fate when it comes to the way by which they can lead themselves as one nation. In relation to this, the Declaration of Independence was able to touch to the sentiments of the people and also connect to the very ideals and values of the American nation because of Thomas Jefferson’s use of the art of rhetoric.
The use of rhetoric devices allows Thomas Jefferson to create an effect upon its audience during the time of the very affirmation of freedom for the American people and even at the present time with the readers of the Declaration of Independence. The persuasive appeal of the Declaration of Independence is rooted from the use of ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos or the standing of the writer is clearly seen at the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, which discusses the course of human events that paved the way for Americans to achieved freedom.
Pathos or the appeal to the emotion is seen in the first sentence of the second paragraph wherein the rhetoric device of repetition is applied in the use of the word “that”. By using the word “that”, Thomas Jefferson was able to enunciate among the audience and readers with great clarity the fundamental beliefs of the American people. In addition, the use of “that” also emphasizes the rights of the American people which should be bestowed upon them.
Logos or the appeal of the writer to reasoning is greatly observable in the second and fourth paragraph, wherein the writer used deductive and inductive reasoning in order to pint out the importance of independence (Jefferson, 1776). Furthermore, anaphora and parallelism is also employed by Thomas Jefferson in listing the grievances of the American people towards the British rule.
The concluding paragraph also relies on parallelism and repetition in asserting the decline of the colonies and the need for the establishment of free and independent states. Lastly, ethos is once again observed in emphasizing that the signers of the Declaration of Independence are heroes who will willingly risk everything to fight for the rights of humans that are established by God (Jefferson, 1776).
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