Frederick Douglass Narrative Analysis

Submitted By jacksonford
Words: 482
Pages: 2

Fredrick Douglas’s narrative educated the white readers about the horrors of slavery and successfully used rhetorical devices to help the reader understand. One of the rhetorical devices he uses is the theme of slavery destroying humanity. He uses this throughout his whole book and one of the most significant examples is when he describes the overseer that slaveholders sent there slaves to get broken in: “Mr. Covey enjoyed the most unbounded reputation for being a first-rate over-seer and negro-breaker” (48) This theme shows how important it was to Douglas to educate white readers on slavery and how terrible it was to be one and live during that time. He is showing how slavery affects not just the slaves but the actual slave holders. They become too powerful and are turned into bad people from slavery. The slaveholders pride themselves on their reputation for breaking in slaves and enjoy it too. It is this kind of writing that makes him effective in conveying his ideas to the audience. Frederick Douglas was a master at using his ability to capture the terrible details of slavery and putting them in a book so the audience feels something they wouldn’t normally feel. Almost everyone can relate to feeling something one way or another and Douglas captured his feelings and put in the book for one of his themes. The last example of a rhetorical device that Fredrick Douglas uses in his book is the theme that people use religion as an excuse for having slaves and mistreating them. The best example of this is when Douglas is talking about how religious slaveholders are the worst and they use religion as an excuse for what they do:”I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the south is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes,--a justifier of the most appalling barbarity,--a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds,--and