Essay on Slavery and the Power of Rhetoric to Effect Social Change

1250 Words5 Pages
Every great civilization or country has had at least one dirty little time in their history that all would rather forget. America knows this feeling well, especially within the 19th century, the slave era. America was divided, the North was generally against slavery and all for letting the African Americans roam free in a colony in Africa. The South on the other hand viewed African Americans as tools, essential to the economy and work, however still just tools. Tools to be bought a sold and driven until the breaking point just like every other implement in the shed. Fast-forward to the 21st century, slavery is gone from America and has become that dirty period of time…show more content…
With this knowledge in hand, Douglas took to using higher level English and a much more narrative, to the point, factual method of writing. He also commonly used compare and contrast examples to show the stark difference between freedom and slavery “I was now for the first time in my life a free man… I found myself even more awkward than a country boy in the big city.” (Douglas 59). This communicated directly to his target audience because they were well educated and needed the cold hard facts to sway their point. Douglas also centers his narrative on a scientific, objective theme. He carefully weaves in emotion only were completely necessary and maintains a general overview of the events that happened to him throughout the narrative. In doing so, his audience is provided with a crisp, to-the-point piece that reads much like a political position paper, filled with terse comments that strike home, “A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master.” (Douglas 41). When considering the fact that Douglas was in fact an uneducated slave and was completely self-taught, it is quite amazing to think that such a piece could be crafted by such a man. Facts are the key in Douglas’s narrative, nothing strays from the truth and nothing is over embellished. Douglas realized that he could not afford to lose the confidence
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