Rhetorical Analysis Of Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

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How do people continue to live when all hope is lost? How do they survive when they are dehumanized beyond the point of recognition? How do people watch friends and family be murdered as the killer rejoices? These questions are answered in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, by Frederick Douglass, when he tells the story of his life as a slave in the South during the mid-nineteenth century and includes all the atrocious actions executed by religious slaveholders. Throughout his appalling journey, he maintains hope for freedom, which he receives after running away to the North. Douglass’ solemn tone, rhetorical devices, use of pathos and ethos convince the white Northerners into helping abolish slavery. The intended audience is white …show more content…

He wrote, “In the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me…” (19). Douglass considers slavery to be his career because, he has spent his life, putting in time and physical labor for a master. He was a slave therefore, has reliable information on the topic of slavery specifically the events that occurred during his time as a slave. Douglass elaborated on how “He was, to me, a new master and I was, to him, a new slave” (25). Douglass continues to establish his position as a slave to provide validity of his narrative. By being a slave, he witnesses first hand all of the dehumanizing events that have taken place, such as the unprovoked torment of innocent slaves. This information is important because it provides trust. Subsequently, it is easier for the audience to empathize with the slaves because of this new trust. Douglass uses ethos to provide credibility to his narrative, and it allows the readers to build a trusting relationship with …show more content…

He announces “By far the larger part of the slaves know as little of their ages as horses know of theirs” (1). Douglass incorporates this simile because it compares slaves to animals. This displays how the slaves are being dehumanized because they are regarded as being equal to animals. When Douglass is a child his “feet have [had] been so cracked with the frost that the pen . . . might be laid in the gashes” (16). This powerful use of imagery makes the audience realize the brutality from the slaveholders. With Douglass being only a child, it invokes an emotional response from the audience because it demonstrates that these cruelties happened even to the young and defenseless. Douglass mentions that children “Were then called, like so many pigs, and like so many pigs, they would come and devour the mush” (16). This parallelism is associating the starving children to a filthy animal. It is another way to indicate how slaves are degraded because they are viewed as creatures instead of being viewed as human. This comparison guides the Northerners to join the abolitionist

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