Essay on The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

1549 Words Feb 23rd, 2016 null Page
Frederick Douglass wrote the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass ten years before the publication of his later work, My Bondage and My Freedom. Between the writing of the two books, Douglass changed his perspective on slavery entirely in that he decided that the nature of the United States Constitution was a primarily anti-slavery document rather than pro-slavery. His writing adapted to his new view on slavery and how it should be handled in that he began to take on a more forceful, active voice in his writing. Between the two works, Douglass transforms from an emotionally driven writer to an assertive writer, which is reflected by the growth in his statements about slavery, his use of language, and his rhetorical strategy. Douglass’ statements about slavery in the Narrative are meant to cause the reader to feel respect for him, while statements about slavery in My Bondage and My Freedom are more aggressive. In the Narrative, Douglass writes, “If anyone wishes to be impressed with the soul-killing effects of slavery, let him go to Colonel Lloyd’s plantation…and if he is not impressed, it will only be because ‘there is no flesh in his obdurate heart’” (Douglass 9). Douglass uses interesting word choice here in that the word “impressed” is usually used to synonymously with admiring and respectful. By using these words, Douglass implies that the reading audience should admire and respect the slaves at work, rather than pity them. This is interesting because…

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