Thomas Jefferson is one of the most celebrated Americans in history. The author identifies Jefferson as one whose writing skills aided the writing of the declaration of independence. The skills, horned from experience, Jefferson awed many congressmen who saw him as the epitome of writing skills, and subsequently tasked him with the writing of declaration of independence. His direct and active involvement in the writing the Declaration of Independence was backed by the times of the day, which was characterized by political upheavals. That is, by the time he was elected to a seat in the state of Virginia legislative assembly in 1769, the colony was on the verge of revolution against the British rule. Considered one of the most accomplished brains of his times, the author chronicles events and actions that qualify Jefferson as one who thrived in rhetoric, from his personal to public life, a trait that is also extensively exemplified in the landmark ‘Declaration of Independence’ that he wrote.’ The author also uses this device to display what he believes was the meaning of Thomas Jefferson’s life.
The author highlights that although Jefferson’s writings were considered revolutionary, they were less reflected in his actions, especially in matters politics and even personal life. In other words, the fact that all Jefferson’s writings were never purely implemented entrenches the belief that his life was not a manifestation of what he put on paper. From this perspective, the author highlights certain scenarios where Jefferson was involved in certain activities contrary to the ideas he put on writing. For instance, Jefferson despite being one of the wealthy owners of slaves, attempted to abolish slavery, especially in territories that were already part of United States (Jefferson 77). Although this could be considered a good gesture towards doing away with the slavery, some historians have claimed that this action was precipitated by the fact that Jefferson was had an affair with one of the mixed race woman, with whom it is claimed, he fathered children. Moreover, the author states that it is difficult to understand what Jefferson stood for, because most of his writings were not entirely original. When the author states quotes Jefferson’s writing that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”, he clarifies that these words were not entirely original but a derivative of Rousseau’s primary ideas (Jefferson 78). In this statement, the author portrays Jefferson as a person who, despite being perceived as having revolutionary ideas, never practiced those ideologies in totality outside of his writings. At the same time, the author successfully uses assonance, a rhetorical device that helps him in an attempt to create emphasis on the importance of the statement. However, it is clear that the author is attempting to expose Jefferson as one who did not practice what he wrote in totality, as it is unclear what he stood for, or what his conviction was in terms of people being free is concerned.
The author also uses periodic sentences to emphasize the point of Jefferson’s rhetoric and paradox. For example, when Jefferson wrote: “When one nation must sever its relations with a parent nation… and stand as an independent nation itself…the cause ought to be explained” (Jefferson 79), he sought reason could make a nation wants to sever links with parent nation. Although Jefferson is looking for the cause of the desire for independence, he knew the cause of slavery but still owned slavery, begging the question that what was his conviction as far as independence was concerned. The author also uses parallelism to create a natural link between the ideas in a statement. This rhetoric device although may be seen as not necessary as far as emphasis is concerned, creates the image of concern from the author. However, this device clearly depicts Jefferson as person, as his rhetoric can be exemplified in totality. The author also uses antithesis to contrast his ideas and hide the real intention of writing to make his statement less offensive to the King of England. For instance, when Jefferson wrote that Congress is opposed not to a personality but to the sovereign of a nation that is oppressing the United States” (Jefferson 80). Although the author refers to this statement as anaphora, it is not. Jefferson repeatedly used the word ‘We’ in the Declaration of Independence, creating an emphasis of a general feeling of the entire United States. These writings in reality did not reflect the reality that Jefferson had grown into, but exemplified the need to get independence as a nation and not as individual.
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Thomas Jefferson was a great writer and an established legal mind that has left indomitable image in the history books. However, although he is credited with many aspects of successful authorship, some scholars have scrutinized his background and concluded that his work was not entirely original. Moreover, he did not practice what he wrote as he is accused of keeping slaves while advocating for the independence of the nations and citizens. In fact, the declaration that everyone is born free and should remain free was considered more onto paper than practice. Lastly, the Declaration of Independence that was accredited to him is believed to have been a contribution of more than one mind, with some sections considered a derivative of other earlier writings. The author has outlined the use of rhetorical devices in the Declaration of Independence, and reveals that the document reflected what Jefferson was truly is as a person.
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