N-e-w B-e-t-f-o-r-d, this what was Fredrick Douglass read when he stepped off the boat to the north. Just reading those words was an accomplishment. In his book The Narrative and Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave he details his experiences where knowledge is very key. Douglass shows how knowledge gained him the ultimate reward of freedom. Knowledge is the path to freedom.
Douglass points to the vast unwillingness from the group of whites that refuses to fully perceive and accept African-Americans as deserving and equal citizens of the nation. Based on his personal experiences as a slave, Douglass is abundantly aware that the battle to abolish slavery is not an easy task. For the first twenty years of his life, he witnessed firsthand the abject cruelty of that institution in our country. Tactfully, Douglass seizes this opportunity to publicly highlight the unmerited and coarse differences in the treatment between the whites as opposed to the blacks living in the United States during this time period. He makes a “powerful testaments to the hypocrisy, bigotry and inhumanity of slavery” (Bunch 1).
Douglass uses his Narrative to share his position is by telling his audience how unfairly Douglass is treated and how white men or slaveholders take control of the life of a slave because in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass on page 1 paragraph 1 it says, The nearest estimate I can give makes me now between twenty-seven and twenty-eight years of age. I come to this, from hearing my master say, some time during 1835, I was about seventeen years old.” What this piece of evidence is demonstrates is that Frederick Douglass did not even now his own birth and that he had to guess on what his master said and that his master knows more what Frederick knows about his life. Another way that Douglass’s uses his Narrative to share his position is by telling their audience how unfairly Frederick and many other slaves were treated because because in the Document “‘ Pro Slavery Arguments South’’ on paragraph 6 it says,”Southern slaveholders pro-slavery arguments defended the interest of the plantation owners against attempts by abolitionists, lower classes, and non-whites to institute a more equal social structure.”
In Frederick Douglass’s book, he writes accounts of his time in slavery and beyond. Throughout the book, Douglass writes about not only the physical hardships slaves endured, but the mental and emotional hardships as well. In Chapter X, Douglass describes a battle he had with a temporary slave owner named Mr. Covey. After the fight concludes, Douglass writes, “This battle with Mr. Covey was the turning point in my career as a slave. It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me a sense of my own manhood.
Because of this, he successfully creates a contrast between what the slave owners think of and treat the slaves and how they are. Douglass says that slave’s minds were “starved by their cruel masters”(Douglass, 48) and that “they had been shut up in mental darkness” (Douglass, 48) and through education, something that they were deprived of, Frederick Douglass is able to open their minds and allow them to flourish into the complex people that they are. By showing a willingness to learn to read and write, the slaves prove that they were much more than what was forced upon them by their masters.
Douglass managed to overcome the maltreatment of his wretched slave owners through the eventual attainment of freedom. The injustice imposed upon the African-American slaves by their owners was the crux of Douglass’s motivation to escape this inhumane life. Adolescents in today’s society could use Frederick’s determination as an example of moving forward to better oneself or one’s situation regardless of
Group Essay on Frederick Douglass “That this little book may do something toward throwing light on the American slave system”, and that Frederick Douglass does in his eponymous autobiography. Douglass throws light by dispelling the myths of the slave system, which received support from all parts of society. To dispel these myths Douglass begins to construct an argument composed around a series of rhetorical appeals and devices. Douglass illustrates that slavery is dehumanizing, corrupting, and promotes Christian hypocrisy. Using telling details, Douglass describes the dehumanizing effects of the slave system which condones the treatment of human beings as property.
In “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, Douglass narrates in detail the oppressions he went through as a slave before winning his freedom. In the narrative, Douglass gives a picture about the humiliation, brutality, and pain that slaves go through. We can evidently see that Douglass does not want to describe only his life, but he uses his personal experiences and life story as a tool to rise against slavery. He uses his personal life story to argue against common myths that were used to justify the act of slavery. Douglass invalidated common justification for slavery like religion, economic argument and color with his life story through his experiences torture, separation, and illiteracy, and he urged for the end of slavery.
Douglass uses paradox to demonstrate that slavery degragrates the slaverholder. When Douglass under Mr. Sever’s care he described that: “He was less cruel, less profane… He whipped, but seemed to take no pleasure in it. ”(Douglass 24). Most slaveholders are characterized to be cruel and inhuman because of the whipping and the way they treated the slaves.
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.
Douglass uses deep characterization to show the change in behavior of slaveholders who have uncontrolled power. A good example of this is Sophia Auld. Before slavery took effect, she was a kind and caring woman who comprehended moral righteousness. She had never owned a slave before Douglass. Owning Douglass soon changed her into an evil slave owner when she realized the power, “the white man’s power to enslave the black man” that she had (Douglass 41).
“With them, justice, liberty and humanity were “final”; not slavery and oppression.” This relates to the hardships and the fact that the people don’t recognize how terrible it is. And that these meanings of these “free” words mean something else to him and other slaves. He shows that the changes are hard but once they are made everything will be peaceful. Rhetorical features and strategies are Douglass’ forte’ in engaging with the audience.
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
In the book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass reveals his life as a slave and the valuable lessons he learned from his experience. Douglass wants the truth about slavery to be revealed and wants to eliminate the lies that portray slavery as beneficial. Douglass exposes the reality of slavery by criticizing the “romantic image” of slavery, showing the intellectual capabilities slaves had, and revealing the reasons why slaves were disloyal to each other. Douglass criticizes the southern, romantic image of slavery by exposing the harsh treatment and sadness that slaves endured. It was southerners who thought slavery as beneficial, because it benefited themselves and white society.