Freedom is the primary ideal upon which America was founded. It is the tenet most cherished by the original colonists; it is a pillar upon which they built the new government. However, freedom was denied to a large part of America's citizens for a long time. Frederick Douglas was one of the greatest activists for African-American freedom of the 19th century; he used literary works and speeches, instead of violence, to achieve his goals. In his piece "What, to the Slave, is the Fourth of July?" he uses bold words and biting criticism to call attention to the gross injustices and hypocrisy of slavery in the United States.
“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.
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 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.”
“The Hypocrisy of American Slavery: Slavery at its best” Frederick Douglass an activist for anti racism and also an abolitionist’s speech “The Hypocrisy of Slavery” was given on the occasion of celebrating the independence day. Here, in this speech he actually brought out some questions like why we should celebrate Independence Day while almost four million people were kept chained as a slave. He actually mocked the fact of the people of America’s double standards which is that they are singing out the song of liberty, on the other hand holding the chain of slavery. Frederick Douglass, a former American-African slave who managed to escape from his slavery and later on became an abolitionist gave this speech on Fourth of July,
Frederick Douglass’s narrative provides a first hand experience into the imbalance of power between a slave and a slaveholder and the negative effects it has on them both. Douglass proves that slavery destroys not only the slave, but the slaveholder as well by saying that this “poison of irresponsible power” has a dehumanizing effect on the slaveholder’s morals and beliefs (Douglass 40). This intense amount of power breaks the kindest heart and changes the slaveholder into a heartless demon (Douglass 40). Yet these are not the only ways that Douglass proves what ill effect slavery has on the slaveholder. Douglass also uses deep characterization, emotional appeal, and religion to present the negative effects of slavery.
The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass shows the imbalance of power between slaves and their masters. In his book, Douglass proves that slavery is a destructive force not only to the slaves, but also for the slaveholders. “Poison of the irresponsible power” that masters have upon their slaves that are dehumanizing and shameless, have changed the masters themselves and their morality(Douglass 39). This amount of power and control in contact with one man breaks the kindest heart and the purest thoughts turning the person evil and corrupt. Douglass uses flashbacks that illustrate the emotions that declare the negative effects of slavery.
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.
Throughout Douglass's speech, he exceeds expectations by adding excellent examples of ethos, pathos, and unique tone. These examples help the audience see his viewpoints and helps him connect with them. The literary devices used in his speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”, aided in his fight against
Although a century apart, Martin Luther King Jr’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and Frederick Douglass’s What to a Slave is the fourth of July are kindred spirits. Notwithstanding the many differences in their respective writing styles, deep down the essence of the message conveyed is still very much the same. Both Martin Luther King Junior and Frederick Douglas had similar beliefs and concepts related to the treatment of the African American community. They both describe a tough yet heart breaking situation that makes them question their moral values and doubt the system and its ability to change for better.
Slavery: Effective on Slaves and Slaveholders In Frederick Douglass’s autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Douglass recounts his life in slavery to reveal to his readers the horrors of the American slave system. To effectively inform his readers of the corrupt system, he publicizes the slaveholders’ hypocritical practice of Christianity. Although he himself is a Christian, Douglass’s narrative is a scathing commentary on the ironic role of Christian religion in the Southern slaveholding culture. Throughout his book, the author expresses and exemplifies his perspective on religion by illustrating the falseness and hypocrisy of the Southern people. To start off, Frederick Douglass suggests that the Southern people’s religion is false and insincere.
The idiosyncratic style Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass depicts the discriminatory actions of postcolonial slave owners in the southern United States, which reflects their greed for unpaid labor on their plantations. He employs the metaphor of the book that their masters prohibited them from owning by law throughout the memoir to demonstrate the avarice that drives white slave owners to turn a darker-skinned, intelligent being into a machine for personal benefit for centuries after the colonization of America. Also, the irony further displays the power of greed by expressing the slaveholder’s uncivilized method of forcing another human out of civilization. Furthermore, his use of a paradox of the use of pure religious beliefs to justify a slaveholder’s inhumane treatment reveals their rapacious actions that contradict the teachings of the church.
Douglass has shown how religious slaveholders are the worst especially when entertainment comes into play. The first being from one of his slaveholders Master Thomas, he whipped a young woman while reading a quote from the scripture to explain his reason for whipping her. The next example was with his other Master Mr.Covey, he would go to church and preach the word but come back beating slaves and going against the almighty God. The last example that is shown is again shown with Mr.Covey, he was guilty of compelling his woman slave to commit the sin of adultery. All of the examples illustrate that religious slaveholders are worst than non-religious slaveholders.
What to the Slave is the Fourth of July Introduction The 4th of July is an important day in American history it represents freedom and is usually associated with fireworks, parades, alcohol, and concerts. Those activities more or less represent today’s culture. When Fredrick Douglass made his speech he talked about American values such as liberty, citizenship, and freedom. The irony of this speech was that at the time white Americans in the south were still participating in slave trading.