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Oration of Chief Seattle

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 645
  • Category: Hawaii

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In the oration to Governor Isaac I. Stevens,Chief Seattle tries to persuade the whites of the United States that they should treat the Native Americans equally despite their inferior status.The way Chief Seattle achieves this is through figurative language, organization, and diction, this is how he shows both the reason and pride behind his oration to the Governor. Another function of this orientation is a wake up call to the Governor that the Natives are not as weak as they may seem they do still obtain power. Respect is shown to the Governor and the whites at the beginning by Chief Seattle because he approaches them in a friendly manner which shows he understands white’s superior status. The choice of diction really helps persuade the governor especially when he refers to him as “the great, and ‘the good white chief” throughout the text. Chief Seattle’s goal here is to make the governor support his oration despite the underlying mocking of the whites and their intelligence.

When the Chief takes full responsibility on the plight of his people this causes him to gain respect and admirability of the Governor even though most likely he felt quite opposite of this the Chief knew his goal was to persuade the Governor and thats exactly what he was doing. Another way he tried to gain the Governor’s support was when he blames his own Native soldiers during the warfare between them and the whites saying their “hearts are black” to show that he knows that his people are wrong. Chief Seattle knows exactly what he is doing with every word he attempts to tell the Americans what they want to hear this shows how easily it was to influence the whites and despite the fact the Natives were “inferior” they were very underestimated by the whites.another method used by the chief was to increase his credibility when he uses a simile saying “my words are like stars that never change,”(line3) this shows the Governor that he is willing to cooperate with the whites.

Throughout the text Chief Seattle displays an apologetic, respectful, and trustworthy tone with his choice of diction in order to convince the governor. Throughout his oration Seattle shows to completely different spectrums between the whites and the Native Americans. he says the whites are his “paleface brothers”(line 19) but he knows that they are too different and their customs are not comparable like when he says “two distinct races with separate origins and separate destines.”(line 33) but he knows the two different people can not intertwine with one another as shown when he ask the rhetorical question “how then can we brothers?”(line 32) and he knows not one to blame.

Even though Chief Seattle gives a sense of calmness and respect he does at some points imply that the whites are somewhat unaware of what will happen to them he also shows that his Natives are not in fear of them. he shows much emotion when he states “Indians’ night promises to be dark”(line43) showing even if they don’t have the Americans on their side it will do no harm to them they have lost so much already how much worst could it get? He shows how strong theNatives beliefs are and the power they hold when he says “these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe…the White Man will never be alone”(line 49) showing that the Natives should not be looked at as weak this is somewhat a threat to the whites that his tribe will not be easy to destroy so it is best that the Governor complies with them. Chief Seattle really attempts to get his message across and convince the Governor by using figurative language, wisely chosen diction, balanced sentences, underlying massages. This was a very clever to say the least oration by the Chief.

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