Frederick Douglass Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Words: 430
Pages: 2

As Douglass illustrates the dehumanizing nature of slavery his great prose also humanizes the author and all African Americans. His magnificent narrative is formulated by a collection of emotion-based arguments and logic based arguments. Firstly, through the use of vivid imagery, pathos, insightful diction, and comparisons he creates an emotion-based argument where he displays the atrocious qualities of slavery and gains support from his readers through sympathy. Douglass uses vivid imagery to develop pathos by describing the whippings in great detail and providing a visual cue for his readers to follow on in order to reveal the gruesome nature of slavery. In one instance of a severe whipping, Douglass describes in such great detail that …show more content…
Once this setting is established Douglass employs pathos and paints the image of “warm, red blood…[that] came dripping to the floor,” to emphasize the severity of the cruelty. The ability to describe a setting so vividly and then elicit a desired response to the readers is one that only great artists possess, and the fact that Douglass showcases this ability portrays that he is an artist. Douglass also utilizes well-versed comparisons and insightful diction, which further showcases his artistic talent in writing. One instance was when slaves were required to be evaluated before being sold. Here, Douglass sets the scene by describing how they were aligned to animals. He reveals how “Men and women, old and young, married and single” and then compares them to “horses, sheep, and swine” who were also aligned in the same “ranking” as them. This comparison serves to aid the readers to understand how slaves were treated like animals, and a form of asset rather than actual humans. To further reinforce this sympathy from the readers, he follows up with intricate use of words, by stating how the “sprightly youth” had to face “indelicate inspection,” referring to the touching of unwanted areas. The use of words in this comparison emphasizes the exceptional writing ability of