The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a very powerful and important piece of work when it comes to understanding the dehumanization and harsh treatment of the slaves in Pre-Civil War United States. Frederick Douglass uses crucial detail in his narrative to make the reader understand just how badly the slaves were truly treated and how profoundly unequal slaves were from everyone else during this time. Douglass uses many rhetorical strategies throughout his narrative in order to really shape how the readers are going to interpret the narrative, and to allow the reader to develop an understanding of his major theme of dehumanization. He uses detailed descriptions of brutal beatings, repeatedly mentions the contrast between the white citizens and black …show more content…
The usage of these rhetorical strategies in his narrative really helps to emphasize the dehumanization of slaves and indubitably forms Douglass’s opinion for slave owners, as well as slavery as a whole.
One of the biggest rhetorical strategies used by Douglass throughout his narrative is showing the comparison between common white people and the slaves. On page one he states, “The white children could tell their ages. I could not tell why I ought to be deprived of the same privilege.” This sentence is used when Frederick Douglass is trying to recall his age in the beginning of his narrative, and shows how basic human rights, even as little as slaves knowing their own birthdays, was taken away in order to keep slaves ignorant. Not letting a slave know their own age was a device the slave owner would use in order to keep a slave feeling inadequate as a normal human being. Another strategy used by the
In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave written by Frederick Douglass, the author asserts that slaves were treated no better than livestock. Douglass supports his claim by giving examples of the hardships he endured while living as a slave. Douglass’s purpose is to connect with the reader on multiple levels in order to abolish slavery. Based on the text, Douglass is writing to people with the power to achieve his goal of abolishing slavery. Douglass, a former slave, experienced the mistreatment of slaves to the worst degree.
Frederick Douglass Rhetorical Analysis Essay In the book the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, written by Frederick Douglass readers are given a walk through of his life dating back to when he was a slave up until the point when he became a free man. Throughout the novel, one of the primary things Douglass attributes his freedom to is education. “Literacy [was his] ticket to freedom from the enslavement of his mind and body.” Learning to read gave Douglas an incentive to seek his freedom.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Rhetorical Analysis By Migion Booth Social reformer, Frederick Douglass was an African American man who decamped from slavery. He has drafted several books including Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. In his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Mr. Douglass writes about his perspicacity as a slave. Mr. Douglass repeatedly uses paradox, imagery, and parallelism to display how slavery was inhuman and heartbroken.
In the book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass reveals his life as a slave and the valuable lessons he learned from his experience. Douglass wants the truth about slavery to be revealed and wants to eliminate the lies that portray slavery as beneficial. Douglass exposes the reality of slavery by criticizing the “romantic image” of slavery, showing the intellectual capabilities slaves had, and revealing the reasons why slaves were disloyal to each other. Douglass criticizes the southern, romantic image of slavery by exposing the harsh treatment and sadness that slaves endured. It was southerners who thought slavery as beneficial, because it benefited themselves and white society.
Douglass points to the vast unwillingness from the group of whites that refuses to fully perceive and accept African-Americans as deserving and equal citizens of the nation. Based on his personal experiences as a slave, Douglass is abundantly aware that the battle to abolish slavery is not an easy task. For the first twenty years of his life, he witnessed firsthand the abject cruelty of that institution in our country. Tactfully, Douglass seizes this opportunity to publicly highlight the unmerited and coarse differences in the treatment between the whites as opposed to the blacks living in the United States during this time period. He makes a “powerful testaments to the hypocrisy, bigotry and inhumanity of slavery” (Bunch 1).
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.
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.
Because of this, he successfully creates a contrast between what the slave owners think of and treat the slaves and how they are. Douglass says that slave’s minds were “starved by their cruel masters”(Douglass, 48) and that “they had been shut up in mental darkness” (Douglass, 48) and through education, something that they were deprived of, Frederick Douglass is able to open their minds and allow them to flourish into the complex people that they are. By showing a willingness to learn to read and write, the slaves prove that they were much more than what was forced upon them by their masters.
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.
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.”
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.
Slaves not knowing of their age as animals, show how just brutal there were as knowing little as their family too. Acknowledging, how slaves are treated compared with animals knowing “little of their age as horses know of theirs”(17). Demonstrate the injustice and evils of slavery and shows how slaves owners treated their slaves like animals. Douglass shows this powerful phrase to help readers understand the comparison of animals to slaves. Mr. Gore is a perfect overseer he was ranked as a “first- rate overseer” in the Colonel Lloyd's Plantation.
Group Essay on Frederick Douglass “That this little book may do something toward throwing light on the American slave system”, and that Frederick Douglass does in his eponymous autobiography. Douglass throws light by dispelling the myths of the slave system, which received support from all parts of society. To dispel these myths Douglass begins to construct an argument composed around a series of rhetorical appeals and devices. Douglass illustrates that slavery is dehumanizing, corrupting, and promotes Christian hypocrisy. Using telling details, Douglass describes the dehumanizing effects of the slave system which condones the treatment of human beings as property.
“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.
Slavery is equally a mental and a physical prison. Frederick Douglass realized this follow-ing his time as both a slave and a fugitive slave. Douglass was born into slavery because of his mother’s status as a slave. He had little to go off regarding his age and lineage. In the excerpt of the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass