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. Southern slaveholders believed what they were only doing was normal, yet the reality was much worse. …show more content…
In his Narrative, Douglass recalls being woken up by his aunt who was “… [tied] up to a joist, and [whipped] upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood,” (22). Living a happy life does not include occasional beatings and the fear looming around. The romantic image is false since slaves did not have positive feelings when they were separated from their family, or when they were beaten until the slave owner saw blood. The songs that slaves sang revealed the false, romantic image of slavery. People thought they sang because they were content. These songs were far from joyful, they would sing “…the most pathetic sentiment in the most rapturous tone…” and these songs would “… [breathe] the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with the bitterest anguish.” (29). Douglass argues against the positive image of slavery that portrayed slaves to be
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To show his perception on the very cruel slaveholders, Douglass uses a multitude of adjectives to create an image in his reader’s mind, while also using metaphors to better comprehend the situation. For example, Douglass stated, “No words, no tears, no prayers, for his gory victim, seemed to move his iron heart from its bloody purpose.” By using this metaphor, Frederick Douglass made the reader question how one could be so cruel to another human being. By visualizing one whipping another without any guilt, it makes the audience understand the inhumanity of slavery. In total, this metaphor creates a agonizing image in the reader’s
In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass feelings about the songs he heard the slaves sing, provoked anger deep inside his heart. Having grown up in slavery, dealing with the beatings, long hours, hardly any food, and let’s not forget any freedom. It would make him a bit annoyed. It not only provoked anger, but also reveal short-term happiness among the slaves. Frederick stated that, “they would make the dense old woods, for miles around reverberate with their wild songs.”
Abolitionism was a well-known movement around the time of the Civil War and its aim was to put an end to slavery. The people of the early nineteenth century viewed the elimination of slavery in numerous ways. Some fought against the end of slavery, some appeared to mildly support the cause and yet others wholeheartedly supported the ending of slavery until their dying day. Charles Finney was a religious leader who promoted social reforms such as the abolition of slavery. He also fought for equality in education for women as well as for African Americans.
Douglass stated, “What am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow-men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters?” He successfully expresses his pain and anger in this quote by providing images of his and his people’s suffering. He tapped into the emotions of his audience, such as mothers, workers, and those who have felt physically pain by exposing them to the amplified struggles he and others had to face. Nonetheless, he continually reminded the audience, both explicitly and subliminally, that his group of people are too human, and that the only difference they share is the color of their skin. He is pleading his cases and hoping that it gets across to his audience in hope they will do the right
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.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is an autobiography told through the eyes of Frederick Douglass himself. Douglass was born as a slave; he was an African-American abolitionist and orator. In the book, Douglass highlights numerous cases of irony associated with slaveholding. Throughout his narrative, Douglass examines the irony of religious slaveholders and one of his non-religious slaveholder. He also speaks of the irony in which slaves are treated below animals.
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.
The Narrative of Frederick Douglass is a very great perspective for people of today to understand what it was like to be a slave in the 1800’s. It tells the story of the slave Frederick Douglass and how he began as an uneducated slave and was moved around from many different types of owners, cruel or nice, and how his and other slaves presences changed the owners, and also how he educated himself and realized that he shouldn’t be treated so poorly It was at the point later in the book that I realized how some slaves might have felt during slavery in the 1800’s. When Douglass is sent away to Mr.Covey he is treated pretty badly but eventually he stands up to Mr.Covey and demands that he stopped being treated like an animal.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is Frederick Douglass’s autobiography in which Douglass goes into detail about growing up as a slave and then escaping for a better life. During the early-to-mid 1800s, the period that this book was written, African-American slaves were no more than workers for their masters. Frederick Douglass recounts not only his personal life experiences but also the experiences of his fellow slaves during the period. This book was aimed at abolitionists, so he makes a point to portray the slaves as actual living people, not the inhuman beings that they are treated as. In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, slaves are inhumanly represented by their owners and Frederick Douglass shines a positive light
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.
Through deep characterization, emotional appeal, and religion, Frederick Douglass shows the readers what negative effects slavery has on the slaveholders themselves. Douglass successfully shows that slavery makes the slaveholder bitter and brings ultimate sadness into their lives. In addressing the harmful effects of slavery on the slaveholders, he makes one reconsider their moral righteousness and better comprehend the difference between humanity and atrocity. Though there are many other ways that slavery could have been harmful to the slaveholder, Frederick Douglass has shown that these ways given were true and has proven that they were indeed negative effects on the
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.
However, Douglass, who knows the true culprit, refutes this idea saying instead that slaves would join together in song to tell of their hatred and sorrow. Another way that Douglass rebukes this friendly image is with the gory horrific reality. For instance, when a savage overseer kills a slave named Demby, Douglass recalls “his mangled body sank out of sight, and blood and brains marked the water where he had stood”(22). Douglass isn’t painting this life in a positive way because he wants others to grasp the alarming reality that was life as a slave. Although those involved in the enslavement of African Americans might’ve liked to believe it, there was nothing reasonable or justifiable about
With this, Douglass is addressing the topic of slavery and whether to abolish it or not. And goes about telling the hardships he went through.
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