Essay Descriptive Language, By Frederick Douglass

1097 Words Sep 14th, 2015 5 Pages
Through the use of descriptive language, Frederick Douglass explains the cruelty and harsh conditions slaves faced at various points in their live. He gives detailed accounts of different scenes that he experienced or witnessed during his life as a slave. By the end of these introductory chapters, the reader has a good visual of the daily struggles of a slave, what they were punished for and how they were punished.
From Douglass’ use of descriptive language, the audience witnesses a few cases of the day-to-day hardships slaves faced. One of these cases is about the separation of a mother and her child. Frederick Douglass’ mother was a slave living twelve miles away from him. She would make her journeys in the night “…travelling the whole distance on foot, after the performance of her day’s work…” (2). His mother was making a great sacrifice because “…a whipping [was] the penalty of not being in the field at sunrise…” (2). The descriptive language Douglass uses to explain this shows how dedicated his mother was to see him.
A hardship child slaves faced was a lack of adequate clothing and bedding. Clothing was given as a yearly allowance. Men and women were given more clothing than children. Children, however, were only given “…two coarse linen shirts per year…” (6). Once they grew out of their clothing, the children would go naked until next allowance day. Nearly naked children could be seen “…at all seasons of the year” (6). All of the slaves lacked proper bedding and…

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