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Frederick Douglass Rhetorical Analysis

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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. 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
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