In addition to establishing himself as a credible narrator and using anecdotes with repetitive diction and imagery, Douglass also highlights how religion was enforced in slavery. Every slave owner that Douglass belonged to was hypocritical and deceival towards their faith. This is frequently used through all his anecdotes to persuade the reader that slavery is full of non-sense and that the “devoted, peaceful, just, and kind owners” were full of lies. “He seemed to think himself equal to deceiving the Almighty. He would make a short prayer in the morning, and a long prayer at night; and, strange as it may seem, few men would at times appear more devotional than he…My non-compliance would almost always produce much confusion.
While learning to read and write ultimately helped him escape, it caused him suffering beforehand. More thorough understanding of slavery made him angrier with his masters, less satisfied with complacency, and more anguished at his position. What he read was liberating and crushing simultaneously, and he detailed this ironic duality in describing his anguished emotions at the time. The writings themselves also prompted discussion of the irony in hypocritically oppressive slave owners who claim to be Americans for freedom and Christians for equality but force the opposites on slaves. Describing his stressful emotions, which happened to be situationally ironic, creates an effective emotional appeal to sympathy similar to the childhood chapters.
An example of this is, “we hanged our harps upon the willow in the midst thereof” (Douglass 286). This piece of text is Douglass saying that once you’ve been a slave there is no way to forget everything that he experienced because of how horrifying it was. With this quote it helps to prove his credibility because he can relate to what slaves are going through and can use his personal experiences to convince people that slavery needs to end. While Frederick Douglass experienced many atrocities during his time as a former slave many Americans were aware of what slaves experienced, so he had to use other means as well to persuade his audience to support abolitionism which would help end slavery once and for all in
The autobiography, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, written in 1845 in Massachusetts, narrates the evils of slavery through the point of view of Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass is a slave who focuses his attention into escaping the horrors of slavery. He articulates his mournful story to anyone and everyone, in hopes of disclosing the crimes that come with slavery. In doing so, Douglass uses many rhetorical strategies to make effective arguments against slavery. Frederick Douglass makes a point to demonstrate the deterioration slavery yields from moral, benevolent people into ruthless, cold-hearted people.
In the excerpt of the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave,” Douglass discusses the horrors of being enslaved and a fugitive slave. Through Douglass’s use of figurative language, diction and repetition he emphasizes the cruelty he experiences thus allowing readers to under-stand his feelings of happiness, fear and isolation upon escaping slavery. Figurative language allocates emotions such as excitement, dread and seclusion. As a slave you have no rights, identity or home. Escaping slavery is the only hope of establishing a sense of self and humanity.
Through the literary works they made people aware of the injustice and inhumanity that slavery was based on and because if its written form they had impact on many generations coming years and decades later. Phillis Wheatley through poems appeals to the intellectual side of the people while Frederick Douglas using slave narrative in his autobiography introduces readers to cruelty and blooded side of black’s oppression. Even though they used different literary convention, they both became an inspiration for long-term changes that transformed the United Stated and it is still visible in current times. By affecting minds and souls of society, they inscribed themselves in American literary tradition
During a time of civil unrest caused by racial tensions throughout the country preceding the Civil War, men who were born into captivity and slavery but rose above their background to become a prominent member in their community calling for social reform sometimes wrote what is referred to as a slave narrative. Each author wrote their autobiography for their own reasons, such as proving to the public that they were once a common slave or simply telling their story. Nonetheless, whether intentional or not, these authors often successfully advocated a case against slavery through employing rhetoric to convince both the white and colored audiences that change was needed. Two prominent authors of such slave narratives, Frederick Douglass and Olaudah
As for childhood, they both grew up on different paths, but then kept creeping closer to similarity’s as they aged. While other slaves had the daily routine torture, Kunta Kinte and Frederick Douglass used their strength in similaries and differences, to help them survive. I believe a more accurate portaryal of slavery would be Roots. I belive this because in my opinion, it shows a more realistic and serious example of what slavery was really like. One reason why I believe this was because of the fight between Frederick and his master.
‘’ They were frequently whipped when least deserving, and escaped whipping when most deserving it.’’ (page 18). Douglass captures the audience by using parallelism to explain how the slaves was regularly whipped. Douglass use of parallelism displayed how slavery was inhuman. Douglass again uses parallelism to show how slavery was heartbroken by describing how the overseers didn’t care. ‘’ No words, No tears, No prayers, from his glory victim, seemed to move his iron heart fro his bloody purpose.’’ (page 5).
Social inequality in the United States is and always has been a dominant issue in our society due to the lack of dialogue between different classes. One author in particular who published their personal struggles with injustice from the perspective of a former slave was Frederick Douglass who wrote the autobiography Narrative of the LIfe of Frederick Douglass an American Slave. In his autobiography, Douglass speaks out about the practice of mental slavery that is used in society to degrade other classes. Later in his career, Douglass also began to speak publicly for the civil rights of all Americans as well as woman suffrage and soon became one of the most eloquent abolitionists and egalitarian speakers in America. In 1886, Douglass gave the