Narrative Voice of Frederick Douglass

920 WordsFeb 6, 20024 Pages
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass The tone established in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is unusual in that from the beginning to the end the focus has been shifted. In the beginning of the narrative Douglass seems to fulfill every stereotypical slavery theme. He is a young black slave who at first cannot read and is very naïve in understanding his situation. As a child put into slavery Douglass does not have the knowledge to know about his surroundings and the world outside of slavery. In Douglass' narrative the tone is first set as that of an observer, however finishing with his own personal accounts. When first introduced to Douglass and his story, we find him to be a young slave boy filled with…show more content…
Douglass states "before narrating any of the peculiar circumstances, I deem it proper to make known my intention not to state all the facts connected with the transaction." In doing so Douglass assumed the narrative would lose the interest of its readers, however the mere thought of a slave man risking his life for a chance to freedom is able to recapture the interest of any facts left out. In the conclusion of the narrative Frederick Douglass contemplates escaping, weighing it against the idea of leaving all of his friends. Douglass says, "I had a good number of warm-hearted friends in Baltimore, -friends that I loved almost as I did my life, -and the thought of being separated from them forever was painful beyond expression." Such a personal tone and accounts make the reader truly see the change Douglass has gone through since the beginning of the narrative. The language difference from the beginning up until the conclusion can be based solely on spirit and education. From the start Douglass did not know much about anything and spoke like he should have, from a child's view. This includes a child's inquisitiveness, demonstrated by his speaking of others more than himself. As he grows and matures, and is even given the gift of an education the language changes dramatically to that of an educated man. Speaking in an intellectual manner Douglass sees that his ability to read and write has truly set him free. From the tone of a
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