Presentation on theme: "American Literature A Unit Two-Part Two The Right To Be Free"— Presentation transcript:
1 American Literature A Unit Two-Part Two The Right To Be Free “Speech in the Virginia Convention”By: Patrick Henry
2 Thematic LinkQuestion that Henry addresses in his speech is essentially:“Do we choose freedom, or do we choose oppression?”British rule has become an intolerable and untenable tyranny.To protect their right to be free, the colonists must take a stand and openly resist the British.
3 Reading and Analyzing Literary Analysis: Allusion “Trust It not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss” (pg. 264).Henry wants the colonists to feel that they are on the side of God, menaced by the forces of evil.“betrayed with a kiss” is a biblical allusion to the Apostle Judas, who betrayed Jesus. When soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Judas identified him by kissing him.
4 Reading and AnalyzingActive Reading: Rhetorical Questions and PersuasionEmotions Henry is trying to evoke through these rhetorical questions and rational argument:“Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love?” (pg. 264).Questions are intended to evoke feelings of outrage; the British government is treating the colonists unfairly and dishonestly.The British say that they want reconciliation, but their military activities suggest otherwise.
5 Reading and Analyzing Guide For Reading In lines on page 264, Henry’s reason for the British military buildup in America is that the British intend to control the colonists by force.Henry’s use of rhetorical questions to anticipate the arguments of his opponents in lines on page 264 is an effective technique:Grabs attentionMakes a deeper impression than simple statementsPersuades listeners that negotiating will not work
6 Reading and Analyzing Guide for Reading Henry is trying to convince his listeners in lines on page 266 when he says, “…we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to God of Hosts is all that is left us!” (pg. 266)To vote in favor of assembling an army to defend itself against Britain.
7 Reading and AnalyzingActive Reading: Rhetorical Questions and PersuasionLines on page 266: Attitude that Henry conveys toward people who argue that the colonies are too weak to challenge the British:Sarcastic and scornfulPortrays those people as weaklings who would “lie supinely on [their] backs” while the British dominate them
8 Reading and Analyzing Guide for Reading Lines on page 266; Reasons Henry gives for taking military action now:Waiting will weaken the colonists’ positionThe colonists are strong, and God will bring allies to help.War is inevitable.
9 Reading and Analyzing Literary Analysis: Allusion Line 93, page 266: “Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!” (pg. 266)Henry alludes to recent events in Boston where, in response to protests, the British amassed troops to police the area.In contrast, this allusion is different from the earlier allusion of Jesus’ betrayal, which is religious, whereas this one alludes to current events.
10 Reading and Analyzing Guide for Reading Emotions that Henry appeals to with the last lines of his speech are patriotism, courage, and religious faith.“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” (pg. 266)
11 Questions-Pg. 2671. After hearing Henry’s speech would you have voted to prepare for war?Yes, the colonists should rebel against an unjust government and defend themselves against the British troops.No, war should be avoided at all costs.Comprehension CheckWhat does Henry warn the colonists about?He warns the colonists that the British are preparing to use military force against them.He urges the colonists to take up arms against British rule.
12 Questions Pg. 2672. In your view, what is the most convincing point Henry makes in his argument?The oppressor is preparing to use force.Freedom is more important than even life itself.The colonists can wait no longer for a peaceful resolution-they have waited long enough, and the situation is getting worse.
13 Questions Pg. 2674. Think about Henry’s famous statement, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” Do you agree that liberty is more important than life itself? Explain your answer making sure to define your understanding of liberty within it.
14 Questions Pg. 2677. Patrick Henry argued that the actions of King George III and the British Parliament posed major threats to the liberty of the American colonists. In your opinion, what are the major threats to the liberty of Americans today?Examples: Greed, Poverty, Racism are major threats to liberty today