Cesar Chavez: Non-Violent Resistance in the Civil Rights Movement

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Peaceful protests and sit-ins predominantly characterize the civil rights movements of the USA. The above non-violent resistance means were passed from one generation to another and were actively sought by the leaders of later periods. Cesar Chavez, a Mexican citizen, was one of the leaders who sought to use such measures. This essay explores various rhetorical devices including imagery, personification, allusion, and ethos among others used by the individual to shape his arguments.

Throughout the discussions, Chavez utilized different aspects to advance his claims. For example, in lines 65 and 66, he employs personification to explain that abuse never comes as a victory. However, it usually has strings attached to it. Herein we observe that Chavez’s usage of personification allows his audience to understand better his intentions described in the whole speech. Also, he exploits imagery that paints a picture of nonviolence as being more effective. Through the lines 17 and 32, Chavez juxtaposes the effects of cruelty and its opposition. Specifically, the man avers that in the case of an assault there will be many deaths and injuries on both sides. But taking into account the situation with peace, Cesar posits that when the masses are confronted by the direct appeal from the economically disadvantaged struggling nonviolently, their reactions will be positive unequivocally.

In the expressions, Chavez alludes to Gandhi in order to create ethos prove to the public the justice of his views. He refers to the activist’s assertions that the effective boycott is the best instrument for creating nonforcible change as it allows the populace to actively participate in a particular process. By attracting attention to Gandhi, Chavez appeals to the emotions of his listeners as he demonstrates that there is another prominent figure who supports his principles. In this regard, the crowd is more likely to believe the man’s assertions because of the reference to such an influential person. Chavez also mentions God to enhance the credibility of his argument. By doing so, he argues that even divine powers have a similar reasoning as he has.

Moreover, Chavez predominantly uses repetition to empower the ideas in his speech. For instance, he avers several times that non-violence offers support to the individuals with just and morality. He goes on to imply how the measure contributes to the person’s decision to stay in the offensive, which is arguably a core tenet required to win any contest. Herein by repetitively utilizing the term, Chavez exemplifies the significance of the events that result from peaceful activities. Through this, Cesar can sway any member of his audience who exhibits doubts regarding the importance of the principle. The other form of repetition in the discussion is the one on the adverse effects of abuse that Chavez notes all the time. Consequently, he tries to make his public believe that nonviolence is the only appropriate way.

To sum it up, it has been shown that Chavez effectively makes right rhetorical choices to advance his argument of promoting nonforcible procedures as compared to cruelty. In particular, it has been described how the activist uses pathos, ethos, images, and personification among other rhetorical devices to present his arguments that non-violence is advantageous for human life. Therefore, Chavez succeeds in proving to his listeners that peace is suitable for all parties.

August 21, 2023
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