Learning To Read Frederick Douglass Syntax Analysis

Words: 533
Pages: 3

In his autobiographic essay Learning to read and write Frederick Douglass describes the people that assisted him on his journey to literacy during the slave era in 1800s America. The essay is littered with powerful literary devices that help illustrate to the reader the struggles that Douglass had to endure in order to become literate. The essay also demonstrates Douglass’s perseverance and will to succeed at something thought impossible for one such as himself. The essay clearly demonstrates Douglass’s skill as a superb writer through the eloquent use of metaphors, powerful diction, superbly structured syntax and, irony; all of which paint the picture of a life full of discord and the endless grind to success.
Douglass use of metaphors throughout
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Throughout the essay Douglass maintains an intricate use of sentence structure that has a powerful effect upon the reader. Douglass recalls the change in the mistress as his education progressed over time. At first she was a kind and gentle woman for "there was no sorrow or suffering for which she had not a tear". This use of syntax helps maintain the elegance present in the essay. Later on in his recall and to express more of his story and overall feelings towards slavery at the time, he tells the reader "in entering upon the duties of a slaveholder, she did not seem to perceive that I sustained to her the relation of a mere chattel, and that for her to treat me as a human being was not only wrong, but dangerously so". By bringing forth all of the bad qualities the teacher lacked, Douglass helps demonstrate how everyone else felt towards her. Scattered throughout the essay are carefully selected phrases that help ease the reader into understanding how Douglass felt whenever he was recounting the past. Frederick uses a strategic choice of words to demonstrate his outlook during the period of the essay; "the silver trump of freedom had roused my soul to eternal wakefulness". Powerful expressions such as this establish Douglass as an authentic writer capable of expressing his thought and emotions through word