Rhetorical Devices In Frederick Douglass

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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. An example can be seen in chapter six6 in through in Mrs. Hamilton’s treatment of her slaves. “The girls seldom passed her without her saying, ‘Move faster, you black gip!’ at the same time giving them a blow with the cowskin over the head or
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For example, in chapter three,3 Douglass uses irony to describe the excessive attention his master, Colonel Lloyd, pays to his horses. Because they were his prized possession, Lloyd would beat the slaves in charge of taking care of them if the horses misbehaved in any manner. Obviously, it was not the slaves fault, but the horses. Douglass uses irony here to show that Lloyd treats his animals better than he treats the human slaves. What Lloyd did not realize was that slaves were not animals but men, with thoughts and emotions of their own. Similarly, Douglass implements irony in his tone as he describes Mr. Gore in chapter four4 as “what is called a first-rate overseer” (32). Those with no sense of the injustice of slavery see Mr. Gore as a good overseer because he was “artful, cruel, and obdurate” (32). However, those with an awareness of the immorality of slavery saw Mr. Gore as being a truly cruel man. Douglass frequently uses this ironic tone in the nNarrative to highlight the discrepancy between fictitious and actual
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