Fredrick Douglass and Inhumanity Essay

Submitted By Imani_Lynette
Words: 577
Pages: 3

In this excerpt from paragraph one in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, the inhumanity of slavery is shown through 4 different literary devices, diction, irony, detail, and most importantly imagery. While writing about his experiences as a slave Frederick Douglass used all these devices to get the readers connected emotionally, by having them mentally picture what was going on in that time period.

In the beginning of this excerpt Douglass spoke of his master; Captain Anthony. “He was not considered a rich slave holder. He owned two or three farms and about thirty slaves…. He was a cruel man hardened by a long life of slaveholding.” From here Douglass goes on to speak of his masters slave overseer Mr.Plummer. “Mr. Plummer was a miserable drunkard a profane swearer, and a savage monster…” While describing Mr.Plummer the diction that Douglass used showed that he wasn’t very fond of Mr.Plummer. The use “Miserable drunkard” not only let the readers know that Mr.Plummer was an alcoholic , but showed he was unhappy. Letting the readers assume that Mr.Plummer was truly the “savage monster” Douglass described him to be. For the simple fact that he was around slaves whom he could whip and punish with no consequences.

Knowing that Captain Anthony was a “cruel man” it shocked Douglass when his master threatened to whip Mr.Plummer for being too cruel to the slaves. “I have known him to cut and slash the women's heads so horribly, that even master would be enraged at his cruelty and threaten to whip him if he did not mind himself.” Irony was shown here because Captain Anthony was not considered a humane man. He was known as cruel, so for him to threaten to whip his “slave overseer” (who was in fact a white man) for being too cruel to the slaves was shocking.

Though Captain Anthony got upset at Mr.Plummer for being too cruel to the slaves,that didn’t stop him from taking pleasure in beating slaves himself. As Douglass writes about the actions of his Master he begins describing what he saw and heard with great detail.” I have often been