Language

The language of “The Declaration of Independence” is formal and appears very old-fashioned today, but the overall message is still understandable. Examples of old fashioned words and phrases are “levy War”  instead of ‘wage …

...

Choice of words

Looking at the choice of words, you will notice that many words are related to government and policy implementation as the document is meant to list the reasons why American colonies need to declare independence: “He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.”

The writers use many negative words because a good part of the Declaration represents a condemnation of the rule of King George III over the colonies. Some relevant examples are: “destructive”, “abuses and usurpations” , “absolute Despotism”, “patient sufferance”, “absolute Tyranny”, “unu…

...

Sentence structure

The sentence structure of “The Declaration of Independence” shows that the writers use inverted syntax and do not use modern day word order. One example is: “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant”. Normally, the noun follows the adjectives and not the other way around.

Another example is:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of…

...

Tone

The overall tone of the speech is serious and accusatory. Firstly, the writers convey a serious tone by using impersonal statements stating general truths: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands”, “…mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” 

Secondly, the serious tone is conveyed by appeals to ethos and logos which are meant to make the writers’ arguments and actions credible and legitimate: “We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation…”; “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fort…

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of PrimeStudyGuides.com, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in