The Slave By Frederick Douglass Essay

1313 Words Sep 21st, 2016 6 Pages
People celebrated Independence day all the while buying and selling slaves. In Frederick Douglass 's “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”, he argues that white men celebrating liberty and freedom while owning slaves is ironic and demonstrates the hypocrisy of his audience and the general white population when they define freedom. He compares the nation’s forefathers hunger for freedom to that of the slaves using irony and diction. He draws attention to the disparity between what the white men inherited and what the black men inherited from the same fathers using analogies to emphasize the irony of the Fourth of July. He further includes the hypocrisy of institutions that are made to be safe havens that not only fail as such but in fact encourage slavery and oppression.
Douglass argues that the forefathers desire and later fight for freedom from England mirrors the determination of the slaves. He says“This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.”(2). By illustrating the “restrains, burdens, and limitation” the forefathers felt, he connects it to those endured by the slaves and further argues that the struggles of whites weighs more to his audience the struggles of blacks. Despite feeling oppressed, the founding fathers continued to encourage…

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