Imagery In Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

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“I think slavery is the next thing to hell. If a person would send another into bondage, he would, it appears to me, be bad enough to send him into hell if he could”(Tubman). Being born into slavery affected young Frederick Douglass negatively. He experienced the cruel world of abuse and suffering of slavery. In the book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass, he uses imagery and metaphors to explain the agony slaves went through so that white slaveholders understand that abusing their slaves is not right.
Douglass used imagery to express the true agony a slave went through during the hardships of slavery. He describes that, “ … those songs still follow me, to deepen my hatred of slavery, and quicken my sympathies for my brethren in bonds”(Douglass 21). The wretched songs the poor slaves sang were cries for help. They could only express their trauma by singing depressing tunes as they worked countless hours in horrible conditions. As for physical pain, Douglass mentions that, “[Demby’s] mangled body sank out of sight, and blood and brains marked the water where he had stood”(Douglass 26). Slaves feared being killed or whipped by their demonic owners daily. This was their punishment for sticking …show more content…

He proves this by showing that,“Plummer was a miserable drunkard,a profane swearer, and a savage monster”(Douglass 16). Slaves were only seen as workers and money makers. Aggressive words and treatment were used as ‘encouragement’ to keep them from running away and to continue working. According to Douglass, he observed that, “at times, [his master] spoke to his slaves with the firmness of Napoleon and the fury of a demon”(Douglass 45). By comparing his masters rage to wicked creatures, he implies how terrible slaves treatment actually was. To many Africans, slavery was equivalent to hell on

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