All Of Which Are Effective At Gaining The Reader 's Sympathy Essay

1011 Words Nov 17th, 2015 5 Pages
Frederick Douglass employs three very important themes in his autobiography, all of which are effective at gaining the reader’s sympathy. One theme is his point that slavery is an impersonal system of dehumanization, in which slaves are treated like animals, plants, or even inanimate objects, but never like humans. He also shows how slavery corrupts the church and the legal system. White men are never subject to any legal ramifications if they hurt or even kill slaves. To help illustrate these themes, Douglass brings special attention to the slaves’ songs. He believes that most people were ignorant in believing that if the slaves are singing, they must be happy. Douglass, in order to gain the sympathy of the reader, illustrates some of the worst parts of slavery: its ability to corrupt the church, the legal system, and its impersonal, inhumane treatment of slaves. Slavery, as Douglass sees it, degrades and dehumanizes slaves on a massive scale. His first example of this is right at the beginning of the book, where he states that he has no accurate knowledge of his age. This sets the tone for Douglass to support this theme throughout the book, as it is very hard to believe that someone does not know his age or what day his birthday is. It seems that knowing one’s birthday is a given. Second, Douglass also illustrates in great detail how the prize horses of his first master, Colonel Lloyd, are treated better than any of the eight hundred slaves Lloyd owns. This example shows…

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