His “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave”, (Document G) makes emotional reading (lurid descriptions like "bitterest dregs of slavery" or "broken in body, mind, and soul" elicited reactions of disgust and dejection, which is the what abolitionists were hoping for) and showed that ultimately a slave, long thought to be a possession and less than human, was very much a person with reason and intellect. It provides unsurmountable proof that like any man, a slave deserved a life of dignity and liberty. His work shed light on the constant hard-working and abusive lifestyle that slaves
A famous slave and abolitionist in the struggle for liberty on behalf of American slaves, Frederick Douglass, in his autobiography published in 1845, portrayed the horrors of captivity in the South. Douglass’s purpose in the narrative was to show how slaves lived, what they experienced, and how they were unquestionably less comfortable in captivity than they would have been in a liberated world. He implemented a didactic tone to portray the viciousness of slave-owners and the severe living conditions for the slaves. Employing his experience as a slave, Douglass accurately expressed the terrors that he and the other slaves endured. In chapter six, Douglass described his involvement with his mistress,
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.
Douglass encountered multiple harsh realities of being enslaved. For example, the ex-slave was practically starved to death by his masters on multiple occasions. In fact, “[He was] allowed less than a half of a bushel of corn-meal per week, and very little else...It was not enough for [him] to subsist upon...A great many times [he had] been nearly perishing with hunger” (pg 31). Douglass managed to overcome the maltreatment of his wretched slave owners through the eventual attainment of freedom. The injustice imposed upon the African-American slaves by their owners was the crux of Douglass’s motivation to escape this inhumane life. Adolescents in today’s society could use Frederick’s determination as an example of moving forward to better oneself or one’s situation regardless of
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, written by Frederick Douglass himself, is a brutally honest portrayal of slavery’s dehumanizing capabilities. By clearly connecting with his audience’s emotions, Douglass uses numerous rhetorical devices, including anecdotes and irony, to argue the depravity of slavery.
Douglass is a African American that was a slave and did a Narrative about his time being a slave and in his Narrative he “threw light” at the American slave system. African American slave Frederick Douglass lived through a time of racism and how slavery was a natural thing to do but was a very awful thing. And slavery is when families who had colored skin were separated and sold of to a person that can do anything to them, the slave is pretty much like the slaveholder’s property. And in this essay I will talk about how Douglass’s position differs from those who supported slavery and also I will be talking about How Douglass used his Narrative to share his position.
In “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, Douglass narrates in detail the oppressions he went through as a slave before winning his freedom. In the narrative, Douglass gives a picture about the humiliation, brutality, and pain that slaves go through. We can evidently see that Douglass does not want to describe only his life, but he uses his personal experiences and life story as a tool to rise against slavery. He uses his personal life story to argue against common myths that were used to justify the act of slavery. Douglass invalidated common justification for slavery like religion, economic argument and color with his life story through his experiences torture, separation, and illiteracy, and he urged for the end of slavery.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is an autobiography told through the eyes of Frederick Douglass himself. Douglass was born as a slave; he was an African-American abolitionist and orator. In the book, Douglass highlights numerous cases of irony associated with slaveholding. Throughout his narrative, Douglass examines the irony of religious slaveholders and one of his non-religious slaveholder. He also speaks of the irony in which slaves are treated below animals. Lastly, Douglass’ explains his thought on slavery and from what he says it becomes ironic.
The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass shows the imbalance of power between slaves and their masters. In his book, Douglass proves that slavery is a destructive force not only to the slaves, but also for the slaveholders. “Poison of the irresponsible power” that masters have upon their slaves that are dehumanizing and shameless, have changed the masters themselves and their morality(Douglass 39). This amount of power and control in contact with one man breaks the kindest heart and the purest thoughts turning the person evil and corrupt. Douglass uses flashbacks that illustrate the emotions that declare the negative effects of slavery.
He truly tapped into the reader’s emotions to allow them a deeper connection with the story. To see the way that the slaveholder would dehumanize the slave to the point of seeing the slave as just a piece of property was truly heartbreaking. It was at moments such as this that the reader saw a glimpse of the mood, tone and theme. Douglass makes clear his tone of understanding, the theme of both the slave and the slaveholder being affected, and the mood of the reader being
In life, humans have many different traits that describes themself. In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, by Frederick Douglass shows life a slave in the nineteenth century. In the story, Douglass brings us back in time to show his experiences of the hypocrisy of human nature. Disputes with Douglass and his masters are seen throughout the story showing both the good and bad traits of human nature. American literature of the nineteenth century reveals that human nature embodies contrasting traits such as love and cruelty through the uses of literary devices.
Frederick Douglass makes a point to demonstrate the deterioration slavery yields from moral, benevolent people into ruthless, cold-hearted people. He starts out describing his new slave owner, Sophia Auld as “a white face beaming with the most kindly emotions; it was the face of my new mistress, Sophia Auld. I wish I could describe the rapture that flashed through my soul as I beheld it. It was a new and strange sight to me, brightening up my pathway with the light of happiness” (Ch. 5 ¶10). Douglass uses diction in “the rapture that flashed through my soul as I beheld it” to portray the effects of her gentle, compassionate personality. The word “rapture” eloquently expresses his feelings of joy and peace as he meets Mrs. Auld. However, these feelings induced by Mrs. Auld soon turn to hatred and remorse as “the fatal poison of irresponsible power was already in her hands, and soon commenced its infernal work. That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage; that
Slavery is equally a mental and a physical prison. Frederick Douglass realized this follow-ing his time as both a slave and a fugitive slave. Douglass was born into slavery because of his mother’s status as a slave. He had little to go off regarding his age and lineage. In the excerpt of the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave,” Douglass discusses the horrors of being enslaved and a fugitive slave. Through Douglass’s use of figurative language, diction and repetition he emphasizes the cruelty he experiences thus allowing readers to under-stand his feelings of happiness, fear and isolation upon escaping slavery.
Frederick Douglass was a great writer, but he wasn’t always. He was an escaped slave who used that in his speeches as a topic to gain the attention of his audience. His audience was a seemingly sympathetic one and got to them through rhetorical questions. Douglass wanted to convey the message that there are many changes that need to be made.
Hope and fear, two contradictory emotions that influence us all, convicted Frederick Douglass to choose life over death, light over darkness, and freedom over sin. Douglass, in Chapter ten, pages thirty-seven through thirty-nine, of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, utilizes various rhetorical techniques and tone shifts to convey his desperation to find hope in this time of misery and suffering. Mr. Covey, who Douglass has been sent to by his master to be broken, has succeeded in nearly tearing all of Douglass’s dreams of freedom away from him. To expound on his desires to escape, Douglass presents boats as something that induces joy to most but compels slaves to feel terror. Given the multiple uses of repetition, antithesis, indirect tone shifts, and various other rhetorical techniques, we can see Douglass relaying to his audience the hardships of slavery through ethos, the disheartening times that slavery brings, and his breakthrough of determination to obtain freedom.