Frederick Douglass Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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As he recounts his pitiful existence under the watch of the formidable Mr. Covey, Frederick Douglass underscores how broken he is. Douglass aims to highlight the impact that Covey’s tyranny had on his hopeful spirit and inquiring mind. He accomplishes this by putting heavy emphasis on the ships in Chesapeake Bay and his perspective on these ships. After describing his life with Covey, Douglass breaks from his narrative style to direct an incensed monologue at the white-sailed ships in the bay. This is made up of short exclamations, seemingly shouted at the free ships, which stands in stark contrast against the long, flowing descriptions in the previous paragraphs. The abrupt dialogue, coupled with the rapid pacing, is saturated with Douglass’ fury at his captivity and his utter frustration at the ships for flying free while his is living a nightmare. So crushed was he under Covey’s feet, that he had no outlet for his interminable rage and was instead forced to direct his anger at inanimate objects that had played no part in his captivity. Douglass also reiterates the cruelty and anguish that he is experiencing in the way that he contrasts his toil with the …show more content…

Until then, he decides to “try to bear up under the yoke”. Douglass also drops the abrupt pacing from just moments before, removing the sense of anger and discord. This sudden switch from unquenchable rage to complacency is unnerving and hints that he is not quite in the right state of mind. Douglass, who advocates so strongly for seizing liberty wherever it is available, dares to suggest that he “reconcile [himself] to [his] wretched lot” until an opportunity presents itself. Here, this change in attitude stresses how discouraged Douglass is that, instead of maintaining his burning fury, he is left to placate himself with vague promises of “a better day

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