In Chief Seattle’s oration to Governor Isaac I. Stevens, Seattle tries to persuade Governor Stevens to not buy land from the Native Americans. Seattle spoke out against the governor in hope that he would gain his sympathy and no longer try to attempt to buy more Indian land by educating the governor about Seattle’s culture, beliefs, and traditions that hold his tribe together.
Since Seattle uses rhetorical strategies and rhetorical devices like organization, diction, similes, tone, and figurative language, Seattle is able to persuade the governor that the Native Americans may not be as strong as others, but they are strong enough to fight for what they believe in.Seattle begins his oration in hope of gaining the governors respect by referring to him as “the good white chief” and “the great.” Seattle approaches the governor from an emotional point of view by stating “wept tears of compassion” which he says in order to gain respect and sympathy for their people.
In order to continue to lead the governor on in order to remain on his good side, Seattle mentions that the indian warriors “hearts are black” which blames the Native Americans for the hate between the Native Americans and Americans. Seattle chooses to use the following simile, “my words are like the stars that never change” which shows that seattle is willing to work with the Americans. More similes that are important in the argument are “like a rapidly receding tide,” and “like the grass that covers vast prairies.”Due to seattle persuasive techniques, he is able to win the governor over by seattle presenting himself as loyal, respectful, trustworthy, and responsible.In order to continuously gain the governors respect, Seattle finds himself giving credit to the Americans’ by saying that they provide “generosity” and nothing but good for others. Seattle also decides to point out the differences between the Native Americans and the Americans by hopefully getting the governor to agree that these two groups of people should work together and act as a whole. Seattle uses rhetorical questions like “he will protect us. But can that ever be” and “How then can we be brothers?” due to him referring to the Americans as his “paleface brothers.
” These questions enable the Governor to contradict if buying the land will be a smart choice in hope for his people. Seattle wants to point out that Americans are different in their own way which is where proves this by stating “we are two distinct races with separate origins and seperate destinies.”Seattle does a great job of seeking to point out the positives and negatives of both sides coming together. As Seattle continues to use an assertive tone throughout the oration, he ensures to warn the governor of the positives and negatives that this would cause such as the power that his people the Americans hold. This assertion shows that the Native Americans do not fear by saying “indians night promises to be dark,” which implies that if the relationship amongst the two would turn badly, that they would not be affected as much as it would be predicted.Seattle is so persistent in his oration that him and his people are willing to fight for what they need to survive. Seattle states that “these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe… the white man will never be alone,” which implies that the tribe cannot and will not be easily destroyed due to the power they believe they hold as a whole.
Overall, Chief Seattle’s speech to Governor Isaac achieves the purpose of the whites culture and ultimately who they are. Seattle’s use of Persuasive Appeals, diction, syntax, metaphors, figurative language, similes, sarcasm, anger, alliteration, personification, allusions, amd tone shifts enables the reading to be more in depth of how important his speech is and hoi dedication to persuading the governor. While Seattle tries to persuade the governor to not buy more land, he emphasizes the the unfair treatment that his tribe has suffered. Seattle makes the valid point that his people are strong and will not give up even if the governor buys their land, he cannot buy them to approve.