Rhetorical devices

Allusions and direct references

Allusions are when the speaker makes an indirect reference to another person or event. They are commonly used in this speech.

The first allusion encountered in the speech refers to the year 1920, when Gandhi became the leader of the Indian National Congress. “There are people who ask me whether I am the same man that I was in 1920, or whether there has been any change in me”. Through this allusion, Gandhi refers to his opposition, who question his policy of a non-violent resistance to free India. Gandhi replies “Let me, however, hasten to assure that I am the same Gandhi as I was in 1920”. He wishes to disperse any doubt in his abilities or conviction.

Gandhi also alludes several times to the Second World War, which was ongoing at the time the speech was made. Moreover, Gandhi alludes to the United Nations’ wish for India to join the war on their side:

(…) the United Powers who somehow or other say that they have need for India, have the opportunity now to declare India free and prove their bona fides. If they miss it, they will be missing the opportunity of their lifetime, and history will record that they did not dis charge their obligations to India in time, and lost the battle.

He also alludes to the Japanese threat: “This hatred would even make them welcome the Japanese. It is most dangerous. It means that they will exchange one slavery for anoth...

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