Rhetorical Analysis of Frederick Douglass

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, Abraham Lincoln Pages: 3 (1321 words) Published: December 12, 2012
Slavery, the dark beast that consumes, devours, and pillages the souls of those who are forced to within its bounds and those who think they are the powerful controllers of this filth they call business. This act is the pinnacle of human ignorance, they use it as the building blocks for their “trade,” and treat these people no more than replaceable property that can be bought, sold, and beaten on a whim. The narrative of Frederick Douglass is a tale about a boy who is coming of age in a world that does not accept him for who he is and it is also told as a horror that depicts what we can only imagine as the tragedies placed on these people in these institutions of slavery. It is understood as a chronicle of his life telling us his story from childhood to manhood and all that is in between, whilst all this is going on he vividly mixes pathological appeals to make us feel for him and all his brethren that share his burden. His narrative is a map from slavery to freedom where he, in the beginning, was a slave of both body and mind. But as the story progresses we see his transformation to becoming a free man both of the law and of the mind. He focuses on emotion and the building up of his character to show us what he over time has become. This primarily serves to make the reader want to follow his cause all the more because of his elegant and intelligent style of mixing appeals. Through his effective use of anecdotes and vivid imagery he shows us his different epiphanies over time, and creates appeals to his character by showing us how he as a person has matured, and his reader’s emotion giving us the ability to feel for his situation in a more real sense. This helps argue that the institution of slavery is a parasitic bug that infects the slave holder with a false sense of power and weakens the slave in both body and spirit.

We can first begin with his appeal to ethos because as the story progresses he seems to go through epiphanies that help us to understand the...
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