Theme Of Similes In Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

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A Portrait of Slavery: Expression Through Rhetoric Rhetoric in language is used to express ideas and emotions that otherwise couldn’t be truly understood. Similes and metaphors are often found to be the most commonly used of the figures of speech, and this is none more evident than in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave. He puts into words things most people can’t even imagine. Living life under the complete and absolute control of another human being. A place where having an independent thought was dangerous and an opinion was a death sentence. Through his writing, Frederick Douglass effectively uses similes and metaphors to truly express the depth of slavery and its effects. At the beginning of the narrative, …show more content…
When he lived in Boston he began to read some abolitionist papers and similar material. He learned many new facts, and began to form his own opinions. Many of those opinions were about his slave owner, and he came to a conclusion about them. In his own words, “I could regard them in no other light than a band of successful robbers, who had left their homes, and gone to Africa, and stolen us from our homes and in a strange land reduced us to slavery,” (Douglass 35). Frederick Douglass views his slave owners as bandits with little more honor than a common thief. This is a metaphor, and while the slavers are not actually robbers they keep other people trapped as if they were stolen goods. He is effectively saying that slave owners are no better than thieves. The opinion is virtually unheard of and quite radical; considering that slavery was still a prevalent part of the American economy when this was …show more content…
In reading this narrative, Frederick Douglass’ bravery is not something to be overlooked. He wrote this at a time where a free slave was a rarity, and the slave economy of America was at a peak. Just in writing his life story he painted a target on his back and this is evident multiple times in the tale when he refuses to mention names in fear of the consequences for the others involved. Frederick Douglass was not a modern American. He was never able to see a time where equality was a possibility and directly compare it to his life. A world of slavery was all Frederick Douglass had ever known, so the comparisons the readers today are able to make are invaluable in and of themselves. While Frederick Douglass may not have been able to see the effects that people like himself made upon the world, future generations reap the benefits of their selfless and hard work. May we remain cognizant and aware of their sacrifices in order to make our home a better place for

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