Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass Rhetorical Analysis

820 Words4 Pages

In this excerpt from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Douglass is adjusting to his life as a newly escaped slave. Douglass uses figures of speech and syntax to convey his change in mindset from being excited to being paranoid and in despair during this period of time. He communicates his difficulty in writing this account and it can be considered a confusing time in his life. For the fact that he how could never be content with his answer when he is asked of how he felt during this period. Nevertheless, Douglass uses language to explain the position of slaves in this time of injustice in America and to acquire sympathy.
Douglass’s uses the figure of speech : a simile to communicate the way he feels towards his …show more content…

He also describes himself as feeling “like one who had escaped a den of hungry lions.”, this reinforces how he thinks that this scenario is to good to be true and his happiness towards being able to have escaped. The figure of speech, imagery is used to instill the loneliness he feels from being in a completely new place. Douglass felt he “was in the midst of thousands, and yet a perfect stranger, without home and without friends.” , his description creates a picture of him in a crowd of people and appearing to be lost. His feelings of isolation create empathy, because people can relate to moving to a new place and having to get accustomed to it. In time, he develops a distrust towards everyone around him. He makes the comparison of being, “subjected to the terrible liability of being seized upon by his fellow-men, as hideous as the crocodile seizes upon his prey!. Implying that Douglass sees himself as a target and compares it to an animal being hunted and it …show more content…

All of these words implicate that Douglass has won the battle and has won his freedom and they are in positive context. Later, his diction of words, such as “painful”, “helpless”, and “fugitive” are all used in the account of the experience. They articulate the difficulties in being an escaped slave and the negative mindset he is experiencing. The syntax of parallelism is used by Douglass in the phrase “let him”. In doing so it Douglass recounts the how it felt to be a slave in that environment and insists that people have put themselves in his situation and understand the terrors and effects of slavery. He labels the slaveholders in New York as “money-loving kidnappers”. This word choice reinforces his stance on slaveholders and translates selfishness and the cruelness of these people.This reveals that his situations as both a slave and fugitive slave are unfavorable and his anxiety can be understood because his capturement would be a worser fate than before, the deep south, was understood to be the harshest and worst of life, a slave can endure. The repetition of “in the midst of” and “without”, expresses the danger he is in from being a fugitive slave and and the weak and negative mental state Douglass had from the paranoia he feels from the

Open Document