Rhetorical Analysis of Cesar Chavez Article about Non Violent Resistance

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On the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Cesar Chavez, a civil rights leader and labor union organizer, states his position on nonviolent resistance. After Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, there were many calls for change and a much-needed response to all the hate. Chavez devoted his time to educating individuals on nonviolent actions. Chavez’s use of inclusive language, diction, and contrasting ideas throughout his article effectively delivers his argument.

Chavez utilizes a variety of inclusive language throughout his article to further his position on nonviolence. The entirety of Chavez’s article embraces the beauty of sticking together. However, this feeling the article gives off could not be achieved without the uses of words like “we” “our” and “American people” (Chavez). Chavez creates a unified feeling within the audience which makes them more susceptive to following his propositions.

By including every individual, even the individuals Chavez disagrees with, it enables followers to spread his ideas; and could change the minds of his non-supporters. Inclusion is a very crucial aspect of any persuasive writing. So, by using this type of language it makes it very clear what his position is, who he is trying to communicate to, and what it is that he is attempting to obtain. The inclusive language makes readers feel like they are being represented and their voice is heard, which in turn, will gain Chavez many supporters who admire and commend his position.

Throughout his article, Chavez supports his position on non-violence, by including impactful diction. Violent approaches to resistance were accompanied by words such as, “shortcut” “senseless” “expense of injury” “vicious” and “demoralizing” (Chavez). By using such negatively connotated words when describing what violent approaches represent, it creates a feeling of unification among the readers, which promotes the idea of using nonviolence. On the other hand, Chavez strongly supports his position of taking non-violent approaches in times of cruelty. He strengthens his argument by using words like “powerful” “opportunity” “importance” and “justice” (Chavez).

Chavez also states that “when you lose your sense of life and justice, you lose your strength” (Chavez). The diction expressed persuades his readers to follow the more moral path and choose Martin Luther King Jr’s ideas of non-violence in times of “anger, frustration, or impatience” (Chavez). The creatively expressed diction also enables his readers to see the difference in ideas of both approaches. By stating the negative effects of following violent intuition, it allows the audience to be filled with determination and desire to be powerful, while also being more accepting of the positive ideas of nonviolence. Chavez’s effective use of diction enhanced his position on non-violent resistance, making his writing extremely impactful.

This idea of contrasting ideas is seen scattered throughout Chavez’s writing as a way to strengthen his overall position on nonviolent resistance. Throughout the article, he includes contrasting ideas in almost every paragraph. When stating alternative strategies and why a moral approach should be taken, Chavez counters it with a hypothetical “If”, stating the consequences of being overcome with violence. For example, when discussing the inspiration of Martin Luther King Jr, the impact he made upon many movements and also admiring the philosophies of nonviolence that MLK preached. He joins that idea, with an “if”.

Chavez states, “If we resort to violence then… either the violence will be escalated and there will be many injuries and perhaps deaths on both sides, or there will be total demoralization of the workers” (Chavez). He uses contrasting ideas to further his position. By using “If” it gives the readers the ability to see the “right” and “wrong” side of his argument. Through vocalizing the importance of using nonviolence instead of taking an immoral and hateful approach when dealing with overwhelming struggles, it empowers readers to want to change for the better.

While being inspired by the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr, Cesar Chavez vocalized his position on nonviolent resistance and shared his ideas with the nation. Chavez gained many supporters and followers with his ideas of humane practices. By using the rhetorical tools of inclusive language, impactful diction, and contrasting ideas, Chavez was able to make his position of nonviolence extremely effective.

Cite this paper

Rhetorical Analysis of Cesar Chavez Article about Non Violent Resistance. (2021, Nov 24). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/rhetorical-analysis-of-cesar-chavez-article-about-non-violent-resistance/

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