Douglass's Logical Argument

Douglass makes a logical argument in his speech by drawing thoughtful inferences that are supported by sound reasoning. Everybody understands that slaves are humans, but they pretend to think that they are not, he says, using rational comparisons. (Douglass, 2017). At this point, he gives numerous instances, such as people expecting abolitionists to persuade the public into taking action when, in reality, the public should be accused in order to make everyone feel guilty enough to take action. In addition, he uses a didactic tone to address the audience as he describes the hardships faced by the slaves and draws the obvious conclusion that it is the citizens' responsibility to free them. Although Douglass's speech contains much emotion, the anger does not take away the effectiveness of his speech. The input of emotion in the speech contributes to the effectiveness as he makes a pathetic appeal to the audience. In his anger, he creates a common ground in which he places himself at the same superior level as the audience (Americans) so that the audience understands the intensity of the speech (Douglass, 2017).

Anger and Its Effects on Making an Argument

In high school, I was angry at the student council as they did not consider the interests of the learners. Therefore, I urged the students to vote me in as the head of the student council since the current one was not effective. However, I failed to gunner the support I anticipated. I later realized that though I invoked the students' emotions through anger, I was not effective in making the presentation since I did not offer an explanation of what I would do that would be different. Therefore, it can be observed that anger prevented me from making an ethical and logical argument, but rather focused on the pathetic appeal.


Douglass, F. (2017). “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” | Teaching American History. Retrieved 24 September 2017, from july/

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