Frederick Douglass Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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Frederick Douglass begins the passage by characterizing his mistress to the abolitionists of the north as a woman of a good heart. Douglass portrays his mistress to be innocent and ignorant prior to the influences of slavery. However, Douglass’ greater intention is to compare his mistress after the works of slavery to unravel its hidden powers and its overriding brainwashing capabilities (something the abolitionists were not exposed to). Douglass then persuades his audience by exemplifying how corruptive slavery truly is by portraying how it had impacted his mistress. From the very beginning, Douglass had greatly appreciated his mistress for her heavenly character, acts of compassion, and generosity. Douglass stated “My mistress was, as I …show more content…

He claimed “Nothing seemed to make her more angry than to see me with a newspaper.” Douglass integrates his personal encounter to elaborate on what he had experienced and reveal how his mistress had started acting like a “real” slave-owner. With strict laws to abide by in the South, Douglass’ mistress is turning from ignorant to experience. Douglass continues to emphasize why his mistress did not want him to read and states “She seemed to think that here lay the danger. I have had her rush at me with a face made all up of fury, and snatch from me a newspaper, in a manner that fully revealed her apprehension.” By Douglass stating just how his mistress begun to take precautions of him being able to read, and how furious his mistress became, Douglass brings irony in his writing to convey to his audience that the same woman that provided for the unfortunate and aided the ones that needed it the most… is now restricting a slave from his freedom. Douglass transitions onto concluding the effects of slavery and how his mistress has been affected prior to and after the effects of slavery. He states “She was an apt woman; and a little experience soon demonstrated, to her satisfaction, that education and slavery were incompatible with each other.” Douglass recognizes how his mistress altered with “experience” of becoming a slave owner and his greater purpose is to reveal how it had brainwashed his

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