Discrimination in the 1940’s
Discrimination can be described as unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people. Throughout her life Maya Angelou experienced discrimination from the beginning of her adult life. She would work with some of the largest names in the Civil Rights movement to include; Malcom X, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr later in her life. Her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was one of the first autobiographies by a black woman of her time to reach such a wide readership. In a chapter of Maya Angelou’s autobiography, titled Graduation, she identifies and discusses the discrimination of African Americans in the Deep South during the 1940s. Through her connection to the audience, her presentation of a logical argument, and her credibility as an author, Maya Angelou is able to create a timeless composition as well as offer a look at America’s past racial injustices.
According to Greek philosopher Aristotle, the purpose of rhetoric is to persuade others through argument by appealing to their emotions in order to persuade their thinking. Aristotle identified three different elements that must be taken into consideration when composing an argument. One of the terms he discusses is pathos, a method of convincing people with an argument drawn out through emotional connection. In Graduation Maya includes a steady strain of emotions. By narrating Henry Reed’s valedictory speech she imparts a great deal of information. She believes success is hopeless for her people. The speech given by the white governor candidate, Mr. Donleavy, makes success appear as an unlikely pursuit. By connecting to the audience she is able to appeal to the reader’s emotions.
Another method of appeal is through ones logos. Logos can be described as or by logical argument. Logos is the consistency and clarity of an argument as well as the logic of evidence and reason. In the beginning of the essay the school...