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Frederick Douglass An American Slave Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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Christianity was, to the slaves of America, (something with a double meaning). In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave, Frederick Douglass, the author, argues about how Christianity can mean one thing to a free white man and something completely different to a black slave. The slave owners follow the ‘Christianity of the Land’ while the slaves follow the ‘Christianity of Christ.’ Frederick begins to build his credibility to a, white, northern, audience by including documents from trustworthy writers and by getting into personal experiences through his writing.
Throughout the narrative, he is articulate in how he writes, and it shows the reader that he is well educated. It gives the reader a sense of credibility.
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Throughout the narrative, the author includes his personal stories about experiencing the violence of slavery first-hand. For example, on page 20, he writes about the first time he witnessed a slave, his own aunt, getting the whip. “The louder she screamed, the harder he whipped; and where the blood ran fastest, there he whipped longest…I remember the first time I ever witnessed this horrible exhibition… It struck me with awful force. It was the blood-stained gate, the entrance to the hell of slavery…” The author including his experience of his aunts whipping, in detail, appeals to the emotions of the reader. By appealing to the emotions of the reader, Frederick Douglass can build his argument of how awful slavery was and how the slave owners used Christianity to justify what they did.
In the book, Narrative of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, the author uses his language to bring meaning to what he is writing. He creates an emotional connection to the reader using pathos, and builds his argument using the credibility of others, using ethos. In his book he uses his words to prove his argument to the reader of how the slave owners would use Christianity to justify slavery and violence, and how slavery affected everyone who was
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