Fredric Douglass wrote, “What to the Slave is Fourth of July” in 1852. In this speech to the American public, Douglass states how great of a country American “was” and how great the forefathers “were”. In contrast to those statements he professes his reasoning for freeing slaves. However, Mary Rowlandson wrote, “A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” in 1682. This captive narrative takes place during the King Philips war, and depicts how the native Americans treated their prisoners of war. Although from different eras, both Douglass and Rowlandson use similar techniques such as religion, repetition, and sentimentalism to show that being held captive and slavery is wrong.
Freedom is the primary ideal upon which America was founded. It is the tenet most cherished by the original colonists; it is a pillar upon which they built the new government. However, freedom was denied to a large part of America's citizens for a long time. Frederick Douglas was one of the greatest activists for African-American freedom of the 19th century; he used literary works and speeches, instead of violence, to achieve his goals. In his piece "What, to the Slave, is the Fourth of July?" he uses bold words and biting criticism to call attention to the gross injustices and hypocrisy of slavery in the United States.
Frederick Douglass, born a slave and later the most influential African American leader of the 1800s, addresses the hypocrisy of the US of maintaining slavery with its upheld ideals being freedom and independence on July 4th, 1852. Douglass builds his argument by using surprising contrasts, plain facts, and provocative antithesis. Introducing his subject, Douglass reminds his audience about the dark side of America for slaves, in sharp, surprising contrasts with the apparent progressivity within the nation. He first notices “the disparity,” that “the sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and deaths to me,” as an African-American former slave. It is surprising for the audience to hear that the Sun does not bring him any prosperity, that the Sun, the source of life on earth, brings him destruction.
Religion and its relationship to slavery is a contradictive subject, whether it was forced upon slaves or was a form of hope and freedom is still commonly debated about to this day. However, these individuals were devoted Christians in the abolitionist movement who all
“The Hypocrisy of American Slavery: Slavery at its best” Frederick Douglass an activist for anti racism and also an abolitionist’s speech “The Hypocrisy of Slavery” was given on the occasion of celebrating the independence day. Here, in this speech he actually brought out some questions like why we should celebrate Independence Day while almost four million people were kept chained as a slave. He actually mocked the fact of the people of America’s double standards which is that they are singing out the song of liberty, on the other hand holding the chain of slavery. Frederick Douglass, a former American-African slave who managed to escape from his slavery and later on became an abolitionist gave this speech on Fourth of July,
Slavery: Effective on Slaves and Slaveholders In Frederick Douglass’s autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Douglass recounts his life in slavery to reveal to his readers the horrors of the American slave system. To effectively inform his readers of the corrupt system, he publicizes the slaveholders’ hypocritical practice of Christianity. Although he himself is a Christian, Douglass’s narrative is a scathing commentary on the ironic role of Christian religion in the Southern slaveholding culture. Throughout his book, the author expresses and exemplifies his perspective on religion by illustrating the falseness and hypocrisy of the Southern people. To start off, Frederick Douglass suggests that the Southern people’s religion is false and insincere.
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.
Douglass’s position differ from those who supported slavery is that people who supported slavery, they thought it was a natural thing to do because on the Document “ Slavery a positive Good” on paragraph 1 it says, “ To maintain the existing relations between two races, inhabiting that section of the Union, is indispensable to the peace and happiness of both…. But let me not be understood as admitting, even by implication, that the existing relations between two races in the slaveholding states is an evil: - far otherwise; I hold to be good, as it has thus far proved itself both, and will continue to prove so if not disturbed by the fell spirit of abolition.” What this piece of evidence is saying is that slavery is a good thing and not a bad thing and that abolition should stop. Another way that Frederick Douglass’s position is different from people that support is that people who support slavery is that the people who support slavery has a different perspective of what is right and what is wrong because on the Document “ Slavery a Positive Good” paragraph 2 it says,” I hold in the present state of civilization, where two races of different origin, and distinguished by color, and other physical differences, as well as intellectual, are brought together, the relation now existing in the slaveholding States between the two is, instead of an evil, a good- a positive good… I hold then, that
Frederick Douglass was a great writer, but he wasn’t always. He was an escaped slave who used that in his speeches as a topic to gain the attention of his audience. His audience was a seemingly sympathetic one and got to them through rhetorical questions. Douglass wanted to convey the message that there are many changes that need to be made.
Bianca Hammaker Professor Page AMH 2010 25 November 2016 Paper Two (Abolition) Abolitionists preached to the public people on how slavery was unjustified, cruel, immoral, and inhumane. A widely accepted thought was to degrade colored people to that of the thinking capacity of apes and to treat them as animals. Most of the states were slave-holding at this time in history with slaves being the ones under the direction of the owners. Buyers (whites) of slaves sought for cheap labor and gave no credibility to anything the slaves accomplished.
What to the Slave is the Fourth of July Introduction The 4th of July is an important day in American history it represents freedom and is usually associated with fireworks, parades, alcohol, and concerts. Those activities more or less represent today’s culture. When Fredrick Douglass made his speech he talked about American values such as liberty, citizenship, and freedom. The irony of this speech was that at the time white Americans in the south were still participating in slave trading.
He declares, “to forget them [the slaves], to pass lightly over their wrongs and to chime in with the popular theme would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world,” (para. 5). He discusses that slavery is unjust, and says that celebrating freedom with slavery would be treason. This helps the audience realize that celebrating freedom in their country is not a peccadillo, and they naturally will try to right the wrong because of their moral instincts by stopping their celebration. He also says, “to him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mock; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy - a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages,” (para. 15). In this quote, Douglass says that celebrating liberty is covering up a crime: slavery.
Throughout Douglass's speech, he exceeds expectations by adding excellent examples of ethos, pathos, and unique tone. These examples help the audience see his viewpoints and helps him connect with them. The literary devices used in his speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”, aided in his fight against
As a representative of slavery, Frederick Douglass in the speech, What To The American Slave Is Your 4th Of July?, denounces America’s disposition towards slavery, noting its emergence into a flagrantly hypocritical state. Douglass supports his denouncement by arguing that, to the African American slave, whether freed or not, the Fourth of July is merely reminiscent of the blatant injustice and cruelty they stand subject to every day. The author’s purpose is to declare that slaves are men as well, in order to slander the nation’s misconduct and unveil the great sin and shame of America: slavery. Douglass’s formal writing style addresses his audience of Americans who observe the holiday, as well as others interested in the topic of slavery and deception ー where America reigns.