Frederick Douglass Persuasive Techniques

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Frederick Douglass, the author, of Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass, makes an effective argument against slavery, by utilizing a variety of persuasive techniques. Douglass’ strategic approach to appeal to the reader’s emotions, logicality, and morality is undoubtedly compelling the reader to accept Douglass as a credible writer.
Throughout the entire narrative Douglass consistently appeals to the emotions of the readers by evoking specific emotional reactions such as sympathy and anger within the reader. In the second chapter of the narrative the author describes a violent encounter involving a slaveholder and bondsmen. Douglass convinces the reader to feel sympathetic toward a mother that is being brutally beaten by a “cruel man” …show more content…

Douglass indirectly asks for the reader’s sympathy for having such feelings. Douglass advises the reader to place himself in his distressed state of being a “fugitive slave in a strange land” (133). The powerful word usage in this episode causes even the reader to feel distressed. Douglass forces the reader to accept an appalling paradox, that being “legalized kidnappers” (133), which is how Douglass labels the slaveholders in the foreign land.
Douglass succeeds in making an appeal in logicality by using techniques such as cause and effect as well as allusions to the bible. In the sixth chapter of the narrative, Douglass unknowingly foreshadows his passage to freedom. After being secretly educated by his current mistress, Douglass now understands the ultimate goal of the slaveholders, which is to keep the slaves in “mental darkness” (56). This use of cause and effect helps the reader to better apprehend the alleged intentions of the …show more content…

Adamantly outraged, he questions the capability of God, asking “Does a righteous God govern the earth...?” (107). Due to this overwhelming question the reader is compelled to make sense of slavery in his or hers own logicality. In the eleventh chapter, Douglass makes a reference to the “Underground Railroad” explaining the downsides of the movement. He makes the reader aware that aiding the escape of slaves only made it tougher for slaves still in bondage because of the increased perverseness of slaveholders. This likewise forces the reader to question the logicality of slavery in its entirety.
Ethically, Douglass makes an appeal to the reader which exemplifies his morality as a human being. In the seventh chapter, Douglass questions his Caucasian workmates about his state as a slave. Douglass asks, “Have I not as good a right to be free as you have?”(63).This well contemplated inquiry by Douglass leaves the reader to believe that he favors equality. An examination of Douglass’ morality and credibility is also noted in the tenth chapter of the narrative. Douglass chooses to allow his fellow slave companions to convict slavery individually as oppose to influencing them himself. He does this by enlightening those

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