Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass Rhetorical Analysis

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Today, people think of slavery as a tragic time in American history, not giving much thought about how severe and brutal it was to African Americans. In the book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, a man named Frederick Douglass brings the harsh truth to light. He uses rhetorical strategies and vivid personal experiences to express his own thoughts of slavery and how it impacted his life. The book starts by recalling early childhood memories. Even as a child, slavery impacted him in such a strong way that as an older man writing the narrative, he can recall the horrific events that happened. He continues by revealing more influential times in his life that he felt needed to be added. By adding significant personal experiences to the …show more content…
Growing up, he saw family and friends whipped, killed and even raped. This took an emotional toll on him. When Douglass became the age to work in the fields, he had a master named Mr. Covery. He was known as the “nigger breaker.” Throughout his enslavement, Douglass is compared to trash, not treated as anything more than cattle. Douglass describes his time working for Mr. Covery when he writes, “Mr. Covey succeeded in breaking me. I was broken in body, soul, and spirit. My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me” (Douglass 58). In this statement, Douglass uses parallelism and a metaphor to describe his hopelessness. The parallelism that was used to connect all of Douglass’s feeling, creating a dejected tone. The use of the metaphor, relating slavery to a dark night, supports the depressed tone, having the darkness of slavery consume his personal light. By adding this statement, Douglass adds to his supporting claim that slavery is a destructive practice. He explains how the dehumanization of slaves, himself in particular, makes the whole world seem