How Is Parallelism Used in the Declaration of Independence?
In the Declaration of Independence, parallelism is used to restate a point with different words. When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he described several concepts repeatedly but used different phrases. Parallelism is most often used to keep the reader’s attention and prevent monotonous wording.
One example of parallelism in the Declaration of Independence is the statement “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” The last two phrases in this statement both reinforce how all men are created equal. However, the second phrase simply states that men are created equal, while the last phrase explains how all men are born equal and have equal access to unalienable rights. These statements convey the same basic concept, yet the wording prevents the statement from being monotonous.
Another example of parallelism in the Declaration of Independence is the section that lists grievances against the king. For example, the statements “he has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance” and “he has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people” are an example of parallelism. Both statements address the fact that laws have been neglected and forbidden by the king. However, Jefferson used parallelism to restate specific grievances rather than repeating the same phrases.