Imagery In Frederick Douglass's Life As A Slave

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Throughout this autobiography, Frederick Douglass reaches out to his readers to be compassionate to slaves, and persuades them using rhetorical devices when recounting his life's story. He uses striking imagery describing the pain his body endures in order to show how dehumanized slaves are and make their pain tangible to his northern audience, as well as builds his credibility to the readers by bringing up facts and stories of his first hand experience through life as a slave, while also gaining their sympathy. Exploiting the abuse of slaves, Frederick Douglass uses imagery of the interactions between his owner and his aunt, Hester, to enlighten and horrify readers about how these people were dehumanized by their owners and environment, and Douglass desires readers to sympathize. …show more content…

Aunt Hester went out with another slave after her owner ordered her not to and it was after curfew. Arriving back later than intended, she came back to a common but overly aggressive reaction of her owner: “After rolling up his sleeves, he commenced to lay the heavy cowskin, and soon the warm, red blood (amid heart-rending shrieks from her, and horrid oaths from him) came dripping to the floor. I was so terrified and horror-stricken at the sight, that I hid myself in a closet… ” (Douglass 1942). Detailing the events of these frequent and inhumane treatments of the slaves, Douglass tunes in to the emotions of the readers, especially fellow abolitionists. He uses the tools of imagery to paint a picture in the reader’s mind and outrage them at the horrible lives slaves are forced to live. He

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