Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
The literary devices used by Frederick Douglass in his autobiography make the telling more approachable to his audience. Douglass writes from a first person point of view demonstrating his evolution from an uneducated young slave to an articulate orator. He uses pathos, ethos, and logos. As well as a variety of other device three of which are allegories, epiphanies, and parables. Through these techniques Douglass creates a vivid portrayal as life as a slave that dramatically impacts his audience. One literary device used by Douglass is ethos, a rhetorical appeal to the writer’s credibility. Throughout his narration Douglass uses Christianity to illustrate the ethical inconsistencies inherent in the practice of slavery. His example of ethos is particularly poignant in the character of Edward Covey. Mr. Covey considers himself to be a devout Christian man and tries to deceive himself and God, but his evil actions reveal him to be a hypocritical sinner. This connected with readers by depicting a very clear example of the ethical paradox of being a Christian slaveholder. Logos, the rhetorical appeal of logic is another literary device used by Douglass. He uses logos in his writing style which is generally straightforward and engaged, though he does occasionally use an ironic tone, or that of someone emotionally overcome. Douglass’s factual diction and logical outlook on the aspects of slavery help the audience get a better depiction of slavery. His formal writing style makes the reader know that he is an intelligent man. Another literary technique used in the autobiography is pathos, a rhetorical appeal to emotion. Douglass’s depiction of slave women is an example of pathos. Women, who should have a larger more significant role in his narrative such as his Aunt Hester, are only seen in relation to an emotional response to abuse. Douglass describes "I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heart-rending...
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