Frederick Douglass

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Frederick Douglass’ autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself, (1845) depicts the life of Frederick Douglass struggling through the brutalities of slavery. Known as a distinct individual who “plead the cause of African-Americans for over fifty years” (1170), former slave and African-American author Frederick Douglass overcame the challenges of slavery and assisted in promoting freedom. Due to his unique expression of experiencing slavery, Douglass’ personal narrative is well revered by, among others, many scholars of African-American literature. In his autobiography, Douglass informs the audience about the truth of slavery while exposing its evils and ruthlessness and persuades the audience …show more content…
The graphic description of these personal anecdotes that are woven together each illustrates the immorality of slavery and makes the reader feel the same amount of anger that Douglass must have felt. Moreover, in chapter five, Douglass describes the extreme conditions he had to endure portraying the hardships of slavery. Douglass confesses that although he suffered from hunger, he suffered immensely more from the cold. He had no bed and would often crawl into a bag and sleep on the damp floor. By the fact that Douglass had no bed, it is apparent that Douglass was treated like an animal. In chapter three Douglass describes the obsession that his former master, Colonel Lloyd, has with horses. Colonel Lloyd would beat the slaves in charge of taking care of the horses if they made any mistakes. Douglass develops this concept using irony. He uses irony to show that Colonel Lloyd takes better care of his horses than his slaves. In relationship to the animalistic abuse, Douglass is sent to be valued for property in chapter eight. Douglass states, “There were horses and men, cattle and women, pigs and children, all holding the same rank in the scale …show more content…
He suggests and supports the abolition of slavery through his narrative using it as a piece of abolitionist propaganda (Stocks). By constructing his personal experiences as propaganda, Douglass is able to prove the hardships that slaves had to endure historically. According to Claire Stocks, “the key groups that Douglass needed to reach were white, male, Northern abolitionists – people with political power who could be persuaded to utilize that power to help end slavery” (Stocks). Communicating to white males with political power proved to be the best case scenario for Douglass because they were literate. Because these white males of the time period were literate, they are able to read Douglass’ first-hand account regarding the brutality of slavery. Indeed, they are able to have a better understand of slavery and are prompted to persuade other abolitionists to support putting an end to slavery. Douglass convinces his audience to abolish slavery through uniquely constructing his slave narrative in a way that is easily comprehendible. Claire Stocks states, “The points that Douglass makes are unambiguous and forceful, giving the reader little room to ignore or misunderstand his point” (Stocks). This is apparent in that Douglass’ personal anecdotes, which he weaves together in order to persuade that slavery must be abolished, are fairly short and

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