Nelson Mandela’s Speech before He is Sentenced to Prison

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

Nelson Mandela spoke for three hours from the dock of the defendant about the Rivonia trial in 1964. Mandela gives his educational background of being an attorney and that he was on trial for exiting the country with no permit and encouraging people to go on strike. Mandela was a leader during the dispute against Apartheid in South Africa; this is the speech Mandela gave right before he is sentenced to prison for his crimes. Mandela’s thesis statement is the main reason for the fight to end Apartheid; Mandela states, “I planned a sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation, and oppression of my people by the Whites” (Nelson Mandela Foundation). Nelson Mandela uses rhetorical appeal very well to gain the attention of the crowd and join in the fight to end the discrimination against black South Africans.

Mandela’s speech starts off with him being prosecuted for his crimes and the State saying Mandela’s political party is under the influence of foreigners or communist; Mandela goes on to deny this accusation. Mandela and others who formed Umkhonto for two reasons; violence had become unavoidable unless correct leadership was given to his people. If the feelings were not controlled, Mandela stated that there could be outbreaks of terrorism and could lead to hostility between the races. Mandela chose the non-violence path as all the founding members of Umkhonto also were members of the ANC; had a tradition of non-violence and peacefully resolving political problems.

Mandela realizes that the white government is oppressing the non-white majority racially, economically, and politically to the point there are no rights left to defend. Mandela says, ‘The past thirty years have seen the greatest number of laws restricting our rights and progress, until today we have reached a stage where we have almost no rights at all.’ Mandela is trying to connect with the crowd on the dock about characteristics of discrimination the government has put on them as one people. Mandela wants the oppression to be realized by all to gain more support for his movement. Mandela also sees that the black majority in the country is aching for a hero to lead them. Mandela uses this quote to show that he has been spectating the last 30 years and sees the end goal of the oppressors.

The struggle for peaceful protest had been taken from Mandela’s party and the realization that being peaceful will not solve the problem. Mandela did not want to use violence and had no choice but to use force. ‘The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices; submit or fight. We shall not submit, and we have no choice but to hit back by all means in our power in defense of our people, our future, and our freedom” (Nelson Mandela Foundation). Nelson Mandela sets all the options on the table, submit or fight. Mandela appeals logically to the crowd on what is best for the South African people. Mandela also makes it clear that every black South African should join the fight against the white apartheid policies against them.

Nelson Mandela and the rest Umkhonto party members realize that civil war might break out and hope that wall parties can come together and end the senseless bloodshed that could occur. ‘We hope that we will bring the Government and its supporters to their senses before it is too late, so that both the Government and its policies can be changed before matters reach the desperate state of civil war” (Nelson Mandela Foundation). Mandela realizes South Africa are on a course for disaster and uses the thought of a realistic civil war to invoke sadness and urgency to work nationalist policies out of the government. Now that South Africa is on the verge of civil war, the black majority in the country must stand up and fight and not submit to the oppressors.

Nelson Mandela’s ending to the speech saying, ‘it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” This gives the public any reason to believe the reports of his death in prison; which were false. The rise of Apartheid led to the rise of Umkhonto. This also led to Nelson Mandela becoming a household name around the world and to become a prominent leader in South African politics in the future. This speech was very well thought out on its distribution of rhetorical appeal. Nelson Mandela does a good job on appealing to the crowd to join the right side of history.

Cite this paper

Nelson Mandela’s Speech before He is Sentenced to Prison. (2021, Mar 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/nelson-mandelas-speech-before-he-is-sentenced-to-prison/

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out