Slavery: 'State Of Mind In Frederick Douglass'

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Frederick Douglass was a slave for many years. He suffered through abuse and cruelty from his slave owners. He was not considered a person, he was considered a piece of property. Douglass recounts his emotions on escaping slavery and arriving in New York in 1838. Frederick Douglass recalls his time in slavery and employs the use of similes and antithesis to convey his state of mind when recounting his escape from slavery.

First, Douglass utilizes figures of speech with similes to make his feelings more accessible to the reader. He states “I said I felt like one who had escaped a den of hungry lions.” This shows that Frederick was relieved that he finally escaped slavery. He was finally out of the evil and sad world. In addition to this, he incorporates the simile “Where he is every moment subjected to the terrible liability of being of being seized upon by his fellow-men, as the hideous crocodile seizes upon his prey” to share how it felt being a slave and how it felt being attacked by his slave owners. Therefore, Douglass shared his life of a being slave who was controlled and had no freedom.
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He states “The wretchedness of slavery, and the blessedness of freedom.” This shows how he described slavery and freedom. When Douglass escaped from slavery, he felt blessed but while he was still in slavery, he was miserable. In addition, he uses an antithesis example to say “It was life or death with me”. He chooses this example to explain how slavery either made him feel weak or how it made him feel dead. At this point, slavery has broken Douglass and made him feel useless to the
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