Wendell Phillips uses several strategies to praise African American, Toussaint Louverture and persuade his audience. These techniques include comparison, description with word choice, and personification.
Phillips compares and contrasts Toussaint with others repeatedly in this speech. First, he compares his mark on the country’s history to that of George Washington. He then contrasts his worthiness of status with that of General Cromwell. “Now if Cromwell was a General, at least this man was a soldier,” Paragraph four shows this comparison. In paragraph five Philips compares Toussaint’s accomplishments with that of Cromwell and Washington convincing his listeners of Toussaint’s greatness.
The speaker’s second strategy is description. Phillips uses detailed descriptions with intense word choices to move his audience. Examples of this are spoken throughout lines 15-20 such as he “forged a thunder bolt”, “sent him home conquered” and “put them under his feet.” All of these describe his power. They raise Toussaint above the rest and give him and almighty ring to his name.
Phillips final strategy is personification. The power of the last paragraph is held all in personification as Phillips states that they see with their prejudices, not with their eyes. He uses it once again when he says that the pen dipped in sunlight will write in the clear blue Toussaint Louverture’s name in history. This strategy first shows the people their closed mindedness and then makes Louverture seem beyond human as his mark must be made in history.
In conclusion, Wendell Phillips moves his audience using comparison, description, and personification. He empowers Toussaint through raising his accomplishments above those of the rest and using his words to persuade his listeners. He makes the audience aware of their prejudices and influences them by surrounding Toussaint’s name with greatness.