1. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, written by himself Rhetorical Terms- Ethos: ethics, trust, convincing someone of the character, the credibility of the persuader Pathos: emotion/value, a way of convincing an audience of an argument by an emotional response Logos: logic, reason, proof, a way of persuading an audience by reason Passage 1 (ethos)- “When he spoke, a slave must stand, listen, and tremble; and such was literally the case” (Douglass 31). “He was, of all the overseers, the most dreaded by the slaves. His presence was painful; his eye flashes confusion; and seldom was his sharp, shrill voice heard, without producing horror and trembling in their ranks” (35). Discussion- Douglass uses ethos specially when referring to those who had great authority over him. In chapter 3, he talks about Colonel Lloyd and gives a very elongated description about him. Another example of the use of ethos is when he talks about Mr. Austin Gore the man who replaced Mr. Hopkins. Like he does with Colonel Lloyd, he talks about the authority of this man and about his faithfulness to the colonel. Lastly, Douglass also used ethos when he talks about how he never said anything negative about his owner. This is ethos because it relates to ethics and what was right at the time. He establishes credibility through personal experience and his loyalty towards his superiors. Passage 2 (pathos)- "Mr. Severe was rightly named: he was a cruel man. I have seen him whip a woman, causing the
Picture this going through life without the ability to read or write. Without these abilities, it is impossible for a person to be a functioning member of society. In addition, imagine that someone is purposely limiting your knowledge to keep a leash on your independence. Not only is an American slave raised without skills in literacy, he cannot be taught to read unless someone breaks the law. In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, the reader is given a detailed explanation of why slave masters keep their slaves ignorant and the effects such a strategy has on the slaves’ lives. In his autobiography, Douglass describes how the knowledge he obtains has substantial positive and negative effects on his psyche. He is given renewed passion and hope for freedom while struggling with the burden of enlightenment of his situation. Ultimately, however, education shapes his fate, and he achieves freedom and prominence as an advocate for abolition.
Towards the end of chapter ten in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglas describes how slave owners would make slaves’ holidays miserable. Slave owners did this to manipulate the slaves into believing that they are better off in slavery. They would entice slaves to get drunk by placing bets on who could drink the most. When a slave had had enough to drink, he would then ask for something else, but unknowingly receive more alcohol. As a result, slaves would prefer to work in the fields instead of having holidays. This passage illustrates how African Americans remained content in their shackles of slavery for 245 years in America.
Ethos is an appeal to ethics, which gives the author credibility to persuade their attended audience. For instance, both Lukianoff and Haidt give a little insight about who they are, “Greg Lukianoff is a constitutional lawyer and the president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which defends free speech and academic freedom on campus, and has advocated for students and faculty involved in many of the incidents this article describes; Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist who studies the American culture wars.” (Lukianoff and Haidt). Using this rhetorical strategy to start their argument off was a strong approach to persuading their attended audience because it provides credibility to the readers to prove to them that the authors know what they’re talking about and it makes the argument much more effective. Another example of ethos that the authors provide is, “Today, what we call the Socratic method is a way of teaching that fosters critical thinking, in part by encouraging students to question their own unexamined beliefs, as well as the received wisdom of those around them… But vindictive protectiveness teaches students to think in a very different way… A campus culture devoted to policing speech and punishing speakers is likely to engender patterns of thought that are surprisingly similar to those long identified by cognitive behavioral therapists as causes
Passage 1 (ethos)- “Mr. Severe was rightly named: he was a cruel man. I have seen him whip a woman, causing the blood to run half an hour at the time; and this, too, in the midst of her crying children, pleading for their mother’s release. He seemed to take pleasure in manifesting his fiendish barbarity. Added to his cruelty, he was a profane swearer. It was enough to chill the blood and stiffen the hair of an ordinary man to hear him talk. Scarce a sentence escaped him but that was commenced or concluded by some horrid oath. The field was the place to witness his cruelty and profanity. His presence made it both the field of blood and of blasphemy. From the rising till the going down of the sun, he was cursing, raving, cutting, and slashing among the slaves of the field, in the most frightful manner. His career was short. He died very soon after I went to Colonel Lloyd’s; and he died as he lived, uttering, with his dying groans, bitter”
Everyone would agree that education helps develop us into who we are and what we can become. We are able to explore new ideas and concepts, which leads to more knowledge. In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass is thrown into a new world of knowledge and opportunity, once he learns how to read and write. Through his knowledge, he learns more about his situation and potential. Douglass discovers that a slave was set free by persuading his master, and as a result, this information makes Douglass an avid learner. He understands that education is his only way out of slavery. Education empowers people to make good decisions and paves a future that provides opportunities. An education can open doors that were once closed.
One of the most well-known slavery narratives was lived and written by Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass was a civil rights activist who was born into slavery on a plantation in eastern Maryland in February 1818. His exact birth date is unknown, he states in his narrative, “I have no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it.”2 His birth name was Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, which was given by his mother Harriet Bailey, who died when he was about 10 years old. At a young age, Douglass was picked to live in the home of a plantation owner Captain Anthony, whom some believe may have been his father. In his narrative that was published in 1845, sixteen years before the Civil War began, Douglass describes his life as a slave and his aspiration to become a free man. He describes the painful struggle to break free from the physical and mental bondage of slavery. Frederick Douglass resisted slavery by withstanding along with defying his owners. He prepared himself for life as a free man by self-improving himself through the use of education. Douglass’s experience reveals about the difficulties enslaved people would face, when and if they were granted their freedom, was that if they were not educated they were not totally “free.”
The theme of individual versus society has been featured in many pieces of literature over time. This conflict can be described as an individual’s struggle against the confines of their culture or society. The individual wrestles with either upholding society’s rules or breaking them. The conflict of the individual versus society is included in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass. In his memoir, Douglass, who was a slave at the time, learned how to read and write. This was deviant from society in that period because slaves were not allowed to read and write. This conflict also appears in real life situations, such as the women’s suffrage movement or the Civil Rights Movement. Members of these movements did things that deviated from societal norms at the time. The theme of the individual versus society is presented as an individual deviating from society’s ideals.
The “Narratives of the Life of Frederick Douglass” is the story of Frederick Douglass’ life from the time he was born into slavery, to the time he escaped to freedom in the north. When Douglass wrote this book, slavery was still legal in a large portion of the United States. After Douglass’ escape to freedom and his continuation of his education, he became an abolitionist through his works of literature and speeches. In “The Blessings of Slavery”, by George Fitzhugh he states that southern slaves for the most part are the freest and happiest people in the world. He also goes on to say a number of other things that basically establish that slaves live an easy and good life compared to others. Frederick Douglass’ pure story telling in the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” directly goes against any argument for slavery from Fitzhugh, by revealing the harshness of the institution of slavery and the individuals behind it. In each piece of literature both authors also unknowingly touch on topics of early American history such as free labor ideology and paternalism therefore deepening our knowledge of popular understandings during this time period. Douglass refutes Fitzhugh’s pro-slavery argument of the average slave living an ideal life, by disproving early ideas of the free labor system and paternalism through real life encounters of the physical oppression slaves faced on the day to day basis in the forms of inhumane treatment and violence, as well as the true harsh
Being a slave in the United States was not uncommon in the 19th century. There were many brutalities of being a slave including physical and spiritual abuse. Slaves were considered property and not as human beings. They were mistreated and kept illiterate. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave is a autobiography written by Frederick Douglass himself that told of his experiences of being a slave in the United States. He expresses the brutality the slave owners and how he struggled with running away to become a free human being. The themes of his story include: the ignorance of slaves, the treatment of slaves as property, religion used as justification, and the victimization of female slaves.
In chapter one of the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” the reader gains some insight into his early life and experiences as he was first introduced into the life of a slave. He was born and raised in Tuckahoe Maryland with little known about his own self such as his age, although he did know his mother Harriet Bailey and knew of her parents. Who his exact father was remained unknown but he was a white man and due to talk he had heard, his father was rumored to be his master. His tone appears sentimental over the subject of his mother and how he didn’t have the chance to spend time with her and soon changes when he states that when he heard of her death his emotions weren’t much different than if he had heard of the death of a stranger. He had two masters and the first was Anthony who was accompanied by an overseer named Mr.Plummer and both were very cruel especially when it came down to whipping slaves. Douglass first hand experienced a slave whipping when his aunt Hester was caught going out one night with the company of a young man Ned Roberts owed by Colonel Lloyd. His master stripped her down, called her sinful names, tied her hands, and whipped her so hard she bled, and then continued whipping her in the areas of her body where the blood trickled.
This lets his audience know how terrible slavery actually was. One place we see this is in Excerpt 4 when Douglass drops sick and says “I was sick... I scarce had strength to speak… He then gave me a savage kick in the side.” This shows how even though Douglass was sick and did not even have strength to speak his master kicked him and told him to get up as if Douglass was an animal. This is important because it shows how brutal slaveholders can be. Therefore, Slaveholders are making slavery terrible for slaves by making them sick and beating them up. Another example that supports this is that in excerpt 2 when he is describing what the the overseer is doing he says “whip a woman, causing the blood to run half an hour at the time; and this, too, in the midst of her crying children, pleading for their mother’s release.” This evidence proves that slave overseers would
During the eighteenth century African people were considered “property” of their slaveholders and had no control over their own life. They were victims of psychological and physical brutal treatment. This story represents confinement, slavery and the lack of power African people had in such a racist society back in those days. African talents were absolutely wasted and they were considered inferior to white individuals. The “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” simply addresses that white society was causing negative effects to itself and that slavery must be abolished in order to shape a better world.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass perfectly depicts the dreadful experience of living in slavery. From being unsure of the day he was born, to his first beating from a master, to the brutal and exhausting work, and to the joyous day he was freed. Besides describing his experience as a slave, he describes the toll slavery had on the masters and families of slaves. Frederick Douglass also includes his view of education in relation to freedom. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a good excerpt from The Classic Slave Narratives that can be considered a good historical resource due to the historical content it provides about slavery.
Patrick Henry once said, “give me liberty, or give me death.” In the eyes of Frederick Douglass and countless others enslaved, this took on a much deeper meaning to them. “It was doubtful liberty at most, and almost certain death is we failed.”  Frederick Douglass was one of the most commonly known slaves to have existed. Slavery has been around since the 1700s, but the subject of slavery is controversial because it not only includes information written from former slaves, but information acquired from historians. The question that has with stood the test of time is, “are these encounters that have been written out, exaggerated or the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” In the early 1800’s Frederick Douglass was born in Tuckahoe, Maryland, and grew up on Colonial Edward Lloyd’s plantation. Children would be separated from their mothers before they were twelve months in age-Frederick too was separated from his mother. As a result of entering slave-hood at an early age, he did not know his birthdate (like most slaves). Frederick Douglass’s account on slavery could be seen as biased as a result of first hand experiences with being held as a slave. Although, Douglass is able to be direct our thoughts to these experiences in such a light, you feel as if you are witnessing it happen right before you. Because of Douglass’s quest for freedom, his daring attitude, and determination to learn, he shows us the way through American Slavery in his eyes. Douglass provides
Ethos refers to the character of the speaker. Ethos is how the speaker is able to build credibility for herself to the audience. According to Aristotle, there are three things that are absolutely necessary in order to appear credible: competence, good intention, and empathy. When the audience is listening to the speaker, they are asking themselves “Is what this person is telling me believable? Why should I trust them?” Aristotle stated that if we believe that the speaker has a good sense, good moral character, and goodwill, the audience is going to be more inclined to believe what the speaker is saying. Ethos is the very first thing that an audience notices, so that first impression is key in effective speaking. Word choice and style are very important factors when building ethos. The speaker must consider her audience, choose words they are going to understand, and make sure they feel comfortable. This first impression is going to lay the groundwork for the rest of the speech.