Rhetorical Analysis Of How To Read And Write

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Rhetorical Analysis of "How to Read and Write" (Frederick Douglass) During an era of slavery, Jim Crow Laws, and no hopes of abolition, Frederick Douglass invites his audience into a world where slavery enters the kindest of souls, and purifies the soul to have nothing but hatred and anger. In the empowering narrative, “Learning to Read and Write”, Douglass enunciates the cruelty of slavery and its pervasive impacts, with the help of Douglass’ vast journey to ultimately gain his thinking skills through reading and writing. Douglass expresses these actions with elaborate metaphors and immaculate details that keeps the audience on their toes to witness what happens next. Growing up as a slave, Douglass became curious about the art of reading …show more content…

This was all shred to pieces with slavery. Douglass juxtaposes Mistress’ “lamb-like disposition” to “tiger-like fierceness” (¶ 2). This is a very power juxtaposition because it displays the cruelty and evil that lies within slavery, and what effect it has on even the kindest of souls. This also alludes to the Christian Bible, in the way that slavery is allowed by the Bible, and this clash between Mistress’ Christian values, and this idea of slavery, that ultimately results in the victory of slavery. The beginning of paragraph two begins by praising Mistress for “treat[ing] me as she supposed one human treat another” (¶ 2), and then speaks of the same Mistress, who “became even more violent in her opposition than her husband himself” (¶ 2). This juxtaposition is also serving the purpose to convey one of Douglass’ messages: the pervasive impacts of slavery. While Douglass appreciates the fact Mistress treats Douglass “as she supposed one human treat another” (¶ 2), he alludes to the Bible once again, to speak of the Golden Rule: treat others the way you would like to be treated. This allusion allows the audience to get only a gist of how even Christianity could not stop the horrors of

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