The Use Of Slavery In Narrative Of The Life Of Fredrick Douglass

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Authors of any piece of literature have a vast arsenal of weapons to use in order to entice readers. Among biggest and most powerful weapons in said arsenal are rhetorical devices; these weapons are capable of aiding the author in his attempt to change his readers. In the autobiography Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass the author, Douglass himself, through the use of adroit allusions to the bible and descript imagery that depicts the absurdity of slavery as an institution. Translating slavery in such a way allowed Douglass to convince his readers during the period to rise up against the practice of slavery. The Bible in the United States during the many years of slavery was omnipresent in the minds of the general population. Douglass …show more content…
Perhaps the most powerful use of imagery in the whole novel was the image created in the description of the first whipping that Douglass experienced as a child of his Aunt Hester. When Douglass recalls “I was so terrified and horror-stricken at the sight, that I hid myself in a closet…” (13) Connects anyone who has been or has had a child to the emotion of animosity towards slavery. The terror of a child is an extremely powerful force in the movement of people, after being given such a horrifying description of what Douglass felt as a child in slavery causes a great deal of pity to be risen in any one with a moral compass that points North. This rise of such hatred of the mistreatment of children would inevitably help move reader against the institution of …show more content…
One of such moments is the when Douglass tells of what happens to a lame young women “Master would keep this lacerated young women tied up in this horrid situation four or five hours at a time … I have even known him to tie her up early in the morning, and whip her before breakfast; leave her, go to his store … return at dinner, and whip her again...” (52). this mistreatment of human life would lead many believing it to be false but so evil it must be true. This simple truth I enough to leave a reader agape in the fact that anything was treated so poorly. This poor treatment of life is yet another truth that brought abolitionist together in the name of moving the end of slavery forward. Douglass expertise in rhetoric allowed him to shape his reader into conforming to his ideals. The rhetoric used by Douglass connects the daily lives of his reader to his own life in slavery to highlight the absurdity of the institution. Readers understanding Douglass’s message began coming together and facilitating the movement of abolition forward. This technique is not exclusive however to just Fredrick Douglas in his Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass but also to many other successful and powerful writers as far as history

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