Benjamin Banneker Biography

Benjamin Banneker, a son of former slaves, wrote a vital letter to Thomas Jefferson addressing the adversity concerning slavery and equality of mankind. Banneker use of rhetorical strategy increases the effectiveness of his position. In his letter, he uses diction and syntax to establish the credibility of his arguments against slavery. While utilizing diction he establishes a sophisticated and courteous tone in order to appeal to Thomas Jefferson, a framer of the Declaration of Independence.

To begin with, Banneker’s letter contains formal diction to increase his appeal and credibility towards Jefferson.

Benjamin Banneker repetition of the word ‘sir’ conveys a polite and formal tone. This helps his arguments against slavery without blaming Jefferson but decourously presenting facts. He does this to make his arguments much more agreeable. He employs this polite diction through repetition to also add to the emotion of his argument by displaying respect to Jefferson. Like the formal tone, the sophistication of his diction is another contribution to the credibility of his argument.

Banneker’s use of the words, ‘abhorrence’ and ‘benevolence’ advise that he is well educated and knowledgeable. This sophisticated word choice assists his argument that slavery contradicts ‘that all men are created equal, ‘ as this is stated by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.

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