Literary Devices in Declaration of Independence

7 July 2016

In the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson established his position as one of the many persons who wanted to dissolve their bonds with Britain in order to looked for their Independence; they could found a new country based in their ideals in which every person could express one’s point of view, so everyone would be equal in the eyes of the new government. His ideas of independency are incorporate in every paragraph of the Declaration, for visualize what are his thoughts and feelings about his and the colonist people’s situation.

For example, the “establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states” (p. 1 para. 2) led to a large list of complaints against the king of Great Britain, which demonstrates the anger and desperation of the people interpreted by Jefferson words. In the Preamble, Jefferson appeal to Ethos so as to explain that is necessary to people to dissolve their bonds with British and say why of this action, so they would be free. He used positive connotation words to elevate the confidence of the country, so they could assume the future responsibility of fight for their land.

Literary Devices in Declaration of Independence Essay Example

In “nature’s God entitled them” (p. 1 para. 1) Jefferson emphasize religion, which was in that moment what people put their hope in, as an emotional push, so they would “assume among the powers of the earth” (p. 1 para. 1). Moreover in the Declaration, based in logos, Jefferson intensify the creation of the new government that has the duty of protect all men’s unalienable right. The use of anaphora is notable during this paragraph like the word “that”, to summarize the “truths” of “that all men are created equal” (p. 1 para.2) giving as a result the use of allusion in words like “human rights, God laws of nature and founding fathers”.

In this, logos is used as cause and effect, so it indicates what people should do if their government doesn’t work as it should be “whenever any form of government becomes destructive… it is right to people… to abolish it” (p. 1 para. 2), in order to effect “their safety and happiness”. Furthermore, a list of complaints against the king is presented with a indignant, angry and disliking tone which show the injustices that provoke this Declaration.

The use of diction accentuates the anger and the fear of exhausting “history of repeated injuries and usurpations” (p. 1 para 2) such as the word of death mention in “the mercenaries to complete the works of death” (p. 2 para 19). This can cause an effect of passionate anger in people’s attitude remembering their hostile live with Britain now that they already have and actively mind for freedom. Finally in the criticism of the British people and the conclusion of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson use ethos to exalt the fury of the colonist people and the hope of their future government lead it by them.

As the previous paragraphs written by Jefferson, he use parallelism with the word “we” that stand for all the people were angered with the British people because the British never helped them, “We been wanting in attention to our British brethren” (p. 3 para. 3). Consequently, in the conclusion, Jefferson use strong ethos to establish that “they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown” (p. 3 para. 4),and they were now a “free and independent states”.

References

Gerber, Scott Douglas. To Secure These Rights: The Declaration of Independence and Constitutional Interpretation. NYU Press, 1996.

Cuddon, John Anthony. Dictionary of literary terms and literary theory. John Wiley & Sons, 2012.

Becker, Carl Lotus. The Declaration of Independence: A study in the history of political ideas. Vol. 60. Harcourt, Brace, 1922.

Wills, Garry. Inventing America: Jefferson’s declaration of independence. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002.

Momaday, N. Scott. House made of dawn. Harper Perennial, 1999.

Jameson, Fredric. “Third-world literature in the era of multinational capitalism.” Social text 15 (1986): 65-88.

Medvedev, P. N., and M. M. Bakhtin. “The Formal Method in Literary Scholarship: A Critical Introduction to Sociological Poetics (1928).” Cambridge, MA.: Harvard UP (1985).

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