Sie sind auf Seite 1von 2

Kopish 1

Steven Kopish

Ms. Woelke

AP English Language

09 September 2017

Frederick Douglass Rhetorical Analysis

The message that Douglass conveys is very important and easily observed one, no matter

their size, gender, or even age, slaves always have miserable lives. Douglass conveys this theme

in a way that speaks to the reader in a wonderful way through the use of many literary and

rhetorical devices such as anecdotes, similes, and a wider variety of other devices. To give some

background on Douglass’s life, Douglass was a slave that was born into slavery somewhere in

the early 1800s. Throughout his life he had been moved from his family and to many masters and

families. He had learned few things of importance from his households, but the one valuable

piece he did learn that could never be forgotten, was the importance of equal treatment.

Frederick Douglass had witnessed the sheer tragedy of harsh treatment which is visible in his

emotional writing through the use of literary and rhetorical elements all throughout the passage.

His use of elements is spread throughout the passage. In the beginning of the passage

Douglass uses a strong anecdote to build the reader’s view on his confidence and credibility.

“If any one thing in my experience, more than another, served to deepen my conviction of the

infernal character of slavery, and to fill me with unutterable loathing of slaveholders, it was their

base ingratitude to my poor old grandmother.” (Douglass). This anecdote is a very powerful
Kopish 2

element for Douglass to include because it explains all of his gruesome experiences in a life of

slavery but in the end, none of them compare to the time of his grandmother’s depressing,

hopeless, end. The message that Douglass is trying to push upon the reader is that no slave

receives mercy during their morbid trip through slavery, displaying it using a personal anecdote.

Douglass touches upon his grandmother’s past by using a simile as well. In chapter 8 Douglass

states, “She was nevertheless left a slave--a slave for life--a slave in the hands of strangers; and

in their hands she saw her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren, divided, like

so many sheep, without being gratified with the small privilege of a single word, as to their or

her own destiny.” This simile really advances the mood of the passage because it is portraying

Douglass’s amazing grandmother and all of the things that she has done to better the plantation,

even watching her generation pass by like a speeding car filled with many hurtful memories.

This all comes back to the universal idea that Douglass is trying to push across, a slave’s live is

always miserable, no matter of age, gender or size.

Verwandte Interessen