Frederick Douglass State Of Mind Analysis

Good Essays
Frederick Douglass was a well known advocate against slavery, who used his own experience when enslaved to demonstrate the immorality of slavery. However, he illustrates in this autobiographical essay that his escape from slavery was not only a victorious experience but also a fearful one. By changing between his states of mind after he became a freeman Douglass demonstrates that freedom is not simply a satisfying victory but also a distrustful one. He uses this experience to underscore his point his point, that the situation of a fugitive slave is much worse than many citizens, even abolitionists, believed. WHY The first state of mind is calm and content, with a hint of victory entering Douglass's tone. He begins by contrasting “the wretchedness of slavery and the blessedness of freedom,” setting the two…show more content…
At the time Douglass still could have been recaptured and forced back into slavery, and the contrast between his freedom and fear shows itself through his use of contrast as he describes is loneliness in the midst of thousands. Specific words demonstrate the reason for his loneliness, the word “unfold” showing his hidden nature as an escaped slave he had to hide as if it were words folded into a paper. The word “panting” also help paint his experience as of fear within freedom as it illustrates the concept of running away associated with a panting fugitive despite Douglass's arrival in a place of freedom. Douglass also once again uses metaphors to explain his experience, now, instead of escaping the lions he is aware of “ferocious beasts… [who] lie in wait for their prey.” These beasts are the people who made him their prey, and he uses the image of the beasts to further interlock his freedom with the concept of slavery, showing that even during Douglass's freedom the threat of slavery was lying in wait for
Get Access