Chief Seattle Oration

Chief Seattle Oration
In his Oration to Governor Isaac I. Stevens, Chief Seattle attempts to convince the whites that they should deal fairly with the Native Americans despite their inferior status. His style of rhetorical strategies and devices of similes, rhetorical questions, and emotional diction, Chief Seattle gets his point across to the whites that the Natives are weak, but not powerless.
First is the emotion Chief Seattle used in the beginning. He says “wept tears of comparison” to help his people gain sympathy. Then later in the oration Chief Seattle says “Your God is not our God!” and forcefully states “Your God loves your people and hates mine.” These two sentences easily show Chief Seattle’s anger and disapproval.
Next through more emotional diction, Chief Seattle adds rhetorical questions to make the reader think and empathize. He says “…he will protect us, but can that ever be” and “How then can we be brother, we are two distinct races.” This lets the reader, Governor Isaac; think whether forcing the Indians out of their land is right or wrong. Also, the rhetorical questions let Chief Seattle express his anger better.
Similes are used a lot in this passage. With some imagery involved, Chief Seattle describes the decrease in Native Americans and increase of white people. He describes the whites intruding his land as “grass that covers the prairies.” The decreasing number of Native Americans was described as “scattering trees of a storm-swept plain.” The storm that took over represents the whites that are pushing out the Indians. His comparison of whites to grass growing anywhere like a storm, Chief Seattle is establishing the idea that whites are greedy land owners in Governor Isaac’s mind.
To conclude, Chief Seattle’s usage of similes, rhetorical questions, and emotional diction, helped him achieve his purpose on what was happening to his tribe and land.