Ohiyesa’s The Soul of the Indian gives a nostalgic critique on the encroachment of white civilization on the Native American culture, citing the parallelisms the two societies share and explaining the reasoning behind Native American rituals. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass gives a glimpse into the life of a slave, comparing the life of the free and the enslaved, and giving reason to the actions of the slave and slave master. Throughout each book, it becomes apparent that each has a common trait: the white population’s use of religion as a means for their cruelty. To clarify, religion is used as a justification for their respective instances of oppression, both the purge of Native Americans and Native American culture for Ohiyesa, and slavery for Douglass. Although they experience different systems of oppression, Douglass and Ohiyesa see how the corruption of religion can be used by the white majority to assert themselves as masters to their respective peoples.
When slavery was abolished in 1865, it was a critical turning point in the journey towards equality for African Americans. Prior to the eradication of slavery writers like Frederick Douglass sought to free millions of slaves in America. While slavery was a well-known and growing problem in the south, it wasn’t as widely recognized in the north. In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave Douglass recounts his experiences and tribulations as a slave. In the narrative Douglass effectively uses rhetorical imagery, antithesis, and irony in order to expose the harsh reality of slavery during the 19th century.
Irony in American Literature American literature is known for having some of the best books and poetry in the world ,and many of the famous selections have interesting elements irony in them. One of America's most famous writings is “The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass”. “The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass” describes Frederick Douglass going threw his life as a slave and sharing the experiences that went through. In the narrative Douglass often uses an ironic tone to highlight the discrepancy between supposed and actual justice. For instance, Douglass talks about one of his overseers in the book names Mr. Gore.
Mr. Thomas Auld, however, was not the worst religious slaveholder, in fact Douglass shares stories of Reverend Hopkins and Reverend Weeden only to prove the crudeness of Christian slaveholders. Douglass then goes on to tell of how some fellow slaves and himself began to familiarize themselves with Christianity, and how it angered their slaveholders, who, “would much rather see them
Sharing similar priorities with Douglass, Socrates humbly accepts Callicles’ refutations and allows his reputation to be vulnerable. Douglass’ speech exemplifies the Beautiful when discussing the impact slavery has on the church. In response to slavery, the ministers, “strip the love of God of its beauty and leave the throng of religion a huge, horrible, repulsive form.” (Douglass). Appalled at the church for supporting the ugliness and injustice of slavery, Douglass claims that slavery is in no way “divine” and that
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.
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.
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.
The autobiography, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, written in 1845 in Massachusetts, narrates the evils of slavery through the point of view of Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass is a slave who focuses his attention into escaping the horrors of slavery. He articulates his mournful story to anyone and everyone, in hopes of disclosing the crimes that come with slavery. In doing so, Douglass uses many rhetorical strategies to make effective arguments against slavery. Frederick Douglass makes a point to demonstrate the deterioration slavery yields from moral, benevolent people into ruthless, cold-hearted people.
During the time when Douglass wrote this book, there were several myths which were used to justify slavery. The slaveholder during his time justified this inhuman practice using different arguments. The first argument they used was the religion. From the narrative, Douglass says that slaveholders called themselves Christians which was the dominant religion by then.
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
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.
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.
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.
and by those too, who profess religion?”(Apess, 6). In this way, Apess argues by pointing out the hypocrisy found in the Christian ideology of the time, insisting that the ideas held on racial superiority and slavery, while not explicitly condemned in the Bible, go against the ideas of the teachings of Jesus. Apess also uses an appeal to authority, to Jesus nonetheless, in order to shame those who would argue for slavery by mentioning that their savior would be discriminated against in American society. Another voice against slavery, Frederick Douglass, not only uses his religion as an argument against slavery, but also condemns the branches of Christianity which supported it over the course of his 1845 “Narrative”. In his appendix, Douglass states “I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt,