Essay on Fredrick Douglass Rhetorical Analysis

768 WordsSep 12, 20104 Pages
Kate James Mr. Campbell English 389-2 31 August 2010 Ignorance- The Building Block of Slavery Beginning in the seventeen hundreds, America depended on slaves for free labor in order to make a considerable profit. These slaves were not treated as normal people though; they were sold into a life of no rights, cruel punishment, and rigorous work schedules. In his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, freed slave Fredrick Douglass shares his personal accounts with slavery in order to reveal the harsh truth slavery hides to the public. The most successful strategy slaveholders used to maintain control of slaves was ignorance. Slaves were completely oblivious to the basic rights and privileges any…show more content…
When describing horrific events he was forced to witness, the tone of Douglass’ voice becomes very detached, as if he is so used to witnessing beatings that it has become a normal event. Douglass also writes, “He was immediately chained and handcuffed; and thus, without a moments warning, he was snatched away, from his friends and family, by a hand more unrelenting than death” (34). This quote is used by Douglass to infuse a feeling of disbelief in the hearts of the audience, for the man in the quote earned this punishment for merely speaking the truth one time. The audience feels sympathy towards this slave for being taken away for something that should not be punished. Douglass establishes his credibility of being an actual slave with the audience in order to be convincing that he is a primary source of the horrific events of slavery. Douglass writes, “I was saddened by the thought of losing the aid of my kind mistress…” (46). A slave could once in awhile get a nice slave owner, as Douglass did, and they would cherish them because it was such a rarity. By establishing the fact that he was enslaved in his younger years Douglass proves to the reader that he is a credible source. Douglass also proves himself to be a reliable source as a slave by writing, “the children of slave women shall in all cases follow the condition of their

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