Frederick Douglas

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The narrative piece written by Frederick Douglass is very descriptive and, through the use of rhetorical language, effective in describing his view of a slave's life once freed. The opening line creates a clear introduction for what is to come, as he state, " the wretchedness of slavery and the blessedness of freedom were perpetually before me." Parallel structure is present here, to emphasize the sanctity he has, at this point in his life, associated with freedom and the life-long misery he has associated with slavery. This justifies what he chooses to do next, as he leaves his chains and successfully reaches New York, a free state. The metaphor used within this description is also effective, as chains give the reader a sense of prison, captivity, and a lack of freedom; this is exactly how Douglass felt as a slave. One simile used when describing how he feels when at last free, "as one may imagine the unarmed mariner to feel when he is rescued by a friendly man-of-war from the pursuit of a pirate." This simile demonstrates the fear and anxiety each present within him as he enters this free state; as an unarmed mariner approaches a man-of-war, an armed battle ship, fear would undoubtedly be present, and as he is rescued by this armed battle ship the unarmed mariner would be likely to sense relief, however one would still not know what to expect on this armed battle-ship; had he escaped his evil pirate, or merely entered into a worse danger? It is in this way that Douglass felt while crossing the border into New York; had he been freed from the evils of slavery, or had he simply entered into a different society of which the pro-slavery population was not so obvious, causing him to fear his entire surroundings? He also states that he feels "like one who had escaped a den of hungry lions," implying that he had been given an incredible sense of relief. This near-bliss feeling is shortly subsided as he realizes he is a stranger in this new land, for fear of falling...
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