Frederick Douglasss Hope For Freedom Rhetorical Analysis

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Frederick Douglass’s Hope for Freedom Hope and fear, two contradictory emotions that influence us all, convicted Frederick Douglass to choose life over death, light over darkness, and freedom over sin. Douglass, in Chapter ten, pages thirty-seven through thirty-nine, of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, utilizes various rhetorical techniques and tone shifts to convey his desperation to find hope in this time of misery and suffering. Mr. Covey, who Douglass has been sent to by his master to be broken, has succeeded in nearly tearing all of Douglass’s dreams of freedom away from him. To expound on his desires to escape, Douglass presents boats as something that induces joy to most but compels slaves to feel terror. Given the multiple uses of repetition, antithesis, indirect tone shifts, and various other rhetorical techniques, we can see Douglass relaying to his audience the hardships of slavery through ethos, the disheartening times that slavery brings, and his breakthrough of determination to obtain freedom. Douglass’s opening in this particular…show more content…
He calls out his own literary technique, which is an “apostrophe”, that we see being exercised various times in this passage (38). “You are loosed from your mooring, and are free” is the first example of an apostrophe being utilized to express Douglass’s burning desire to become free (38). He is directly talking to the boat while indirectly communicating to his audience. If these were directed at his audience, they would be taken offensively, hence why Douglass puts ships in their place. He subsequently describes ships as, “freedom’s swift-winged angels, that fly around the world” (38). This other example of an apostrophe and a metaphor conveys the jealousy of Douglass to want to be free as the boat is free. Douglass compares freedmen to the boat and how he too wishes he could be like the
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