Summary Of Frederick Douglass Symbolism

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By using symbolism and an apostrophe when describing the white-sailed ships, Douglass emphasizes his need for freedom. In a sudden burst of anger and desperation, Douglass says, “You are freedom’s swift-winged angels, that fly round the world ; I am confined in the bands of iron.” The poor man’s mind is anguished, as he is willing to talk to an inanimate object about his misery. This apostrophe projects his ongoing struggle to achieve freedom and how he longs for it. Mournfully, Douglass gazes at “the countless number of ships moving off to the mighty ocean.” (Douglass, 38) The ships on the mighty ocean represent moving to freedom, happily sailing off with no restraints, meanwhile Douglass is bound to slavery with no opportunity for escape.
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