Group Essay on Frederick Douglass “That this little book may do something toward throwing light on the American slave system”, and that Frederick Douglass does in his eponymous autobiography. Douglass throws light by dispelling the myths of the slave system, which received support from all parts of society. To dispel these myths Douglass begins to construct an argument composed around a series of rhetorical appeals and devices. Douglass illustrates that slavery is dehumanizing, corrupting, and promotes Christian hypocrisy. Using telling details, Douglass describes the dehumanizing effects of the slave system which condones the treatment of human beings as property. For example, when one landowner would pass his belongings to another, “men …show more content…
Throughout his narrative, Douglass’s descriptions of the white slaveholders expose the Christian hypocrisy found in the American slave system. Douglass first does so by exposing how the lesson taught by Christians to help those in need is contradicted by the experiences Douglass has especially with hunger. Douglass reflects on these experiences when he states that for the “first time during a space of more than seven years” feeling the effects of the “painful gnawing’s of hunger…” (54). This event shows the Christians’ lessons of selflessness and kindness is hypocritical as they treat their fellow humans as subhuman. The Christians at the time rely on scripture to make a case for slavery in America. It is a common argument for Christian slaveholders to make “…that God cursed Ham, and therefore American slavery is right…” (5). this argument exposes their hypocrisy as it conveys how they attempt to stretch small pieces of scripture to justify the violence of the American slavery. Douglass thus asks if it is humane to use a small piece of writing to damn an entire race to hardship and subhuman treatment. This case of blasphemy is amplified by the observation that Douglass makes of one of his slave masters, Mr. Covey, in that “he seemed to think himself equal to deceiving the almighty” (61). Here, Douglass exposes the Christian attempt to wash their hands of any guilt or wrong doing. Overall, Douglass exposes the truth behind this hypocrisy; when these slaveholders use God as a
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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Rhetorical Analysis By Migion Booth Social reformer, Frederick Douglass was an African American man who decamped from slavery. He has drafted several books including Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. In his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Mr. Douglass writes about his perspicacity as a slave. Mr. Douglass repeatedly uses paradox, imagery, and parallelism to display how slavery was inhuman and heartbroken.
Douglass uses paradox to demonstrate that slavery degragrates the slaverholder. When Douglass under Mr. Sever’s care he described that: “He was less cruel, less profane… He whipped, but seemed to take no pleasure in it. ”(Douglass 24). Most slaveholders are characterized to be cruel and inhuman because of the whipping and the way they treated the slaves.
The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass challenges and enhances information from the textbook America a Narrative History. In Chapter 13 of the textbook, the Second Great Awakening is mentioned, and the author talks about how large camp meetings were held, which resulted in many converting to Methodism. Similarly, Douglass, as his master attended one, mentions a camp meeting, where Douglass hoped his master would become kinder or emancipate his slaves, however, instead it made his master crueler. In addition, in Chapter 15 the conflict between a true Christian and a Southern Christian is brought up. In both the narrative and the textbook, the fact that slavery is endorsed by the bible is brought up as part of the pro-slavery movement.
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.
Also, in the same chapter, Douglass’ expresses his feelings for Mr.Freeland stating, “I will give Mr.Freeland the credit for being the best master I ever had” (Douglass 49). Douglass’ states that Mr.Freeland was not religious but he was the best master he ever had. It is ironic that non-religious slaveholders treat their slaves better than religious slaveholders. Therefore, Douglass notes the irony of religious and non-religious slaveholders: religious slaveholders being more cruel than non-religious slaveholders. Douglass perceives how slaves are treated worse than animals.
Frederick Douglass Rhetorical Analysis Essay 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 clearly uses anecdotes to support his argument against the immorality of slavery. He illustrates different aspects of slavery’s destructive nature by using accounts of not only his own life but others’ alsoas well.
The legendary abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass was one of the most important social reformers of the nineteenth century. Being born into slavery on a Maryland Eastern Shore plantation to his mother, Harriet Bailey, and a white man, most likely Douglass’s first master was the starting point of his rise against the enslavement of African-Americans. Nearly 200 years after Douglass’s birth and 122 years after his death, The social activist’s name and accomplishments continue to inspire the progression of African-American youth in modern society. Through his ability to overcome obstacles, his strive for a better life through education, and his success despite humble beginnings, Frederick Douglass’s aspirations stretched his influence through
Because of this, he successfully creates a contrast between what the slave owners think of and treat the slaves and how they are. Douglass says that slave’s minds were “starved by their cruel masters”(Douglass, 48) and that “they had been shut up in mental darkness” (Douglass, 48) and through education, something that they were deprived of, Frederick Douglass is able to open their minds and allow them to flourish into the complex people that they are. By showing a willingness to learn to read and write, the slaves prove that they were much more than what was forced upon them by their masters.
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.
Frederick Douglass’s narrative provides a first hand experience into the imbalance of power between a slave and a slaveholder and the negative effects it has on them both. Douglass proves that slavery destroys not only the slave, but the slaveholder as well by saying that this “poison of irresponsible power” has a dehumanizing effect on the slaveholder’s morals and beliefs (Douglass 40). This intense amount of power breaks the kindest heart and changes the slaveholder into a heartless demon (Douglass 40). Yet these are not the only ways that Douglass proves what ill effect slavery has on the slaveholder. Douglass also uses deep characterization, emotional appeal, and religion to present the negative effects of slavery.
Douglass tells us this by saying that he believes anyone who is a slave owner cannot be a Christian. In his view, he believes being a slave owner violates the very principles of being a Christian. Auld quote he believes that the Christianity practiced by the Slave owners and the Christianity practiced by non-slave owners are two
After being separated from his mother at a young age, Frederick Douglass fights back against slavery and human rights. In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, the author, Frederick Douglass, uses powerful rhetoric to disprove the Pragmatic and the Scientific pro-slavery arguments of Pre-Civil War America. The Pragmatic Argument is about how many people believe that if all black slaves were to be freed, then this would result in convulsions which would then lead to extermination of the one or other race. Many people also believed that black slavery was necessary for American history.
Douglass has shown how religious slaveholders are the worst especially when entertainment comes into play. The first being from one of his slaveholders Master Thomas, he whipped a young woman while reading a quote from the scripture to explain his reason for whipping her. The next example was with his other Master Mr.Covey, he would go to church and preach the word but come back beating slaves and going against the almighty God. The last example that is shown is again shown with Mr.Covey, he was guilty of compelling his woman slave to commit the sin of adultery. All of the examples illustrate that religious slaveholders are worst than non-religious slaveholders.
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.
In the 1700-1800’s, the use of African American slaves for backbreaking, unpaid work was at its prime. Despite the terrible conditions that slaves were forced to deal with, slave owners managed to convince themselves and others that it was not the abhorrent work it was thought to be. However, in the mid-1800’s, Northern and southern Americans were becoming more aware of the trauma that slaves were facing in the South. Soon, an abolitionist group began in protest, but still people doubted and questioned it.