Analysis of the Autobiography of Fredrick Douglas

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Analysis of the Autobiography of Fredrick Douglas

Fredrick Douglas has been the most influential man of his time. He was a great example, not only for the slaves but for all men. We all know him as a fugitive slave, who has come to occupy so conspicuous a position, both as a writer and a speaker. His most famous work was probably his autobiography," My Bondage and My Freedom." Some critics attacked the book for being unauthentic, not believing that a black man could have produced such articulate piece of literature. It details the incidents of his experience on the slave plantation of Maryland, where he was born, of his subsequent escape, and of his public career in England and the northern States. The writer has very efficiently captured the view of the horrible pit of slavery. His main purpose is to persuade people in accepting the fact that slaves have no less right to be treated with respect than any other human. Douglas uses various literary techniques for accomplishing this purpose. We shall analyze some of these techniques including sensory details, facts, opinions, examples, and figurative language to understand what role they have played in making his work more affective or persuasive.

Douglass shares his experiences of slavery with his readers. He begins by telling them about his experiences as a born slave at a slave plantation in Maryland and later at the Baltimore Home of the Auld family. According to him this was the most interesting feature of his life. This was the time when his kind mistress began teaching him but was then checked by her husband and was ordered to stop doing that immediately. She was told that slaves are not supposed to be exposed to knowledge. This idea of slavery did not only shock Douglas but also disturbed her. He gives example that, "(in the beginning she used ) to treat me as she supposed one human being ought to treat another." Here Douglass uses a simile to help make the situation more clearly to the readers. He...
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