Frederick Douglass Figurative Language Essay

902 Words4 Pages
Frederick Douglass writes his narrative to educate the reader on the horrors of southern slavery. Douglass writes with the purpose of turning the reader against slavery and fight for abolishment. Throughout Frederick Douglass’s narrative he crafts figurative language such as imagery, repetition, and similes to shed light on the horrors of slavery and to get people to fight against slavery. To give the reader a detailed picture Frederick Douglass utilizes imagery. Douglass uses imagery in great detail when describing the beating of Aunt Hester, Before he commenced whipping Aunt Hester, he took her into the kitchen, and stripped her from neck to waist, leaving her neck, shoulders, and back, entirely naked. He then told her to cross her hands,…show more content…
He uses similes throughout his narrative to compare his struggles with slavery and show how the African American is negatively portrayed with something the reader can easily imagine and relate. When discussing his tiresome days working , Douglass compares himself to being held down by a weight, When I could stand no longer, I fell, and felt as if held down by an immense weight.” (55) The simile between him and the weight shows how slavery is weighing him down and it is something the reader can easily imagine and relate too. Later in the narrative Douglass compares slaves to wild beasts, “In the midst of houses, yet having no home,--among fellow-men, yet feeling as if in the midst of wild beasts,” (90). Him comparing other slaves, men, to wild beasts shows how the slaves were horribly treated and demoralized. Douglass also shows how even a slave's mind can be corrupted into believing they are less than human and how he feels that African Americans are not equal to Whites and how they are seen more like animals than humans. Douglass’s use of similes could persuade a reader to join the abolition movement, if they come to understand the conditions that Douglass is comparing. Frederick Douglass’s narrative consists of figurative language. His figurative language is intended to catch the eye and an emotional response of the reader. Douglass’s goal in writing his narrative is to persuade the reader to stand against slavery and realize
Open Document