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Literary Themes In Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

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In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass, Douglass employs several literary themes and techniques through which he appeals to people’s emotions and basic humanity rather than using cold and convoluted logic to prove that slavery was an immoral practice. Douglass provides vivid first hand examples of abuse that he and other slaves have endured. He describes various instances, in compelling detail, in which slaves were tortured physically and psychologically. He conveys to his reader the fear and caution that slaves had to deal with in order to get by every day. In his memoir, Douglass reflects on his life, and details his journey of being born into slavery, what his life was like as a slave, how he escaped from his grim reality and how he eventually became one of the most gripping orators and thinkers of his time, enlightening the rest of the world on the horrors of what was occurring in the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is worth noting that one of the first themes that Frederick Douglass uses is female suffering. Although Douglass’ first hand account of slavery is considered one of the most moving and powerful stories of this cruel practice, it does not necessarily accurately depict the experience of female slaves. Women in Narrative of the Life are not actually depicted as fully conscious people. Rather, Douglass uses female slaves to depict graphic violence and to evoke images of bruised and beaten bodies. The first example
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