Fredrick Douglas

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In Frederick Douglass’s Narrative, Douglas narrates the essay using story telling to bring both the reader into the story, and the theme into focus. Through his narration, Douglass also uses narrative strategies like anecdotes, and plot twists. Douglass brings the readers’ attention to a peak with these techniques making the story interesting and appealing, without letting the reader forget the reality. The most instrumental technique used by Douglass is story telling. He uses little stories, or stories-within-a-story, to get the reader engrossed into the novel. With descriptive tales of the plantations he worked on, the beatings and torture of slaves, and learning to read and write, he not only gets the attention of the readers, but he gets them to understand his point of view. For example at the beginning of the narrative Douglass tells a story of his aunt being beating, “I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heart-rendering shrieks of an own aunt of mine”. He goes on and gets even more graphic and descriptive, “The louder she screamed, the harder he whipped; and where the blood ran fastest, there he whipped longest.” Also early in the novel, Douglass writes of the plantation he grew up on, “There were no beds given the slaves, unless one coarse blanket be considered such”. Soon after being sold to Mr. and Mrs. Auld, he was taught the alphabet. He uses this experience to show to his audience that he is very literate despite his masters’ wishes, “If you teach that [African American] how to read there would be no keeping him”. This story shows the cruelty from his master and for reading he would be sold, which shows the injustice to the reader. Another similar technique used by Douglass very effectively is anecdotes. He uses anecdotes throughout the story to bring a humorous or interesting little side story into the readers’ minds. One good example of this is when he is talking about slave songs, “I have often been utterly astonished,...
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