Analysis Of Frederick Douglass 's ' The Road Of Freedom ' Essay
In his excerpt “Learning to Read and Write”, Public speaker, editor, author and former slave, Frederick Douglass, recounts his path to learning how to read and write in order to escape to the north to be a freed man. In order to convey his strong emotions of helplessness and loathing, Douglass effectively uses metaphor and references to animals to convince abolitionists to sympathize with his situation.
Douglass begins his narrative by recounting the instruction from his mistress to teach him how to read and write. The words used to describe the transition of his mistress after her “training in the exercise of irresponsible power” (Douglass 100) inject a fear like prey has to predator to appeal to the intense emotions of his audience. Douglass uses words such as “lamb-like”, “tiger-like”, “brute”, and “beast” to dehumanize the people in his narrative. He describes himself this way but also describes his slavers this way to portray that he was treated like an animal but his masters acted like animals as well. Moving forward Douglass starts to strategize how he will learn to read and write on his own, due to his mistress no longer teaching him.
Douglass goes on to describe how he made the “little white boys” in his neighborhood into teachers. He uses them for lessons that they are unaware of, to learn how to read. He sympathizes with these boys by not using their names in his narrative. He states that giving their names would lead to criticism “for it is…