Rhetorical Appeals Essay

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Rhetorical Appeals Essay
“The louder she screamed, the harder he whipped; and where the blood ran fastest, there he whipped the longest.” This gruesome quote comes from the authentic book Frederick Douglass An American Slave. Douglass, the author of the book, scribes his experiences as a slave, and the peculiar people he meets along the way. Through his writing, Douglass appeals most to pathos through the cruelty thrown upon his aunt, the freedom of the Chesapeake, and his struggle with working while being sick. Slavery for Douglass was a constant struggle; however, he always found some way to turn it into a lesson. Douglass’ pathos was a beacon of light into slavery.

When Douglass described his aunts whipping as, “He would whip her to make her scream, and whip her to make her hush; and not until overcome by fatigue, would he cease to swing the blood-clotted cowskin,” (Douglass 7) he painted a blank canvas into a Picasso-worthy sketch. This makes readers feel like they are there witnessing the appalling scene, through words like scream, whip, hush, fatigue, and blood-clotted. Not only does Douglass make the audience concentrate on the viciousness of the whipping, but he makes them feel sorrow and grief toward victims of slavery; conversely, Douglass causes the reader to feel revulsion and disgust toward slave owners. Repetition of words like scream, blood, and whipped really bring out pathos; as well as, making the reader think about those vivid images in their head. Douglass’ use of pathos created luminosity over the dark shadow of slavery brutality.

Another atypical use of pathos is when Douglass writes, “Our house stood within a few rods of the Chesapeake Bay, whose broad bosom was ever white with sails from every quarter of the habitable globe. Those beautiful vessels, robed in purest white, so delightful to the eye of freemen….torment me with thoughts of my wretched condition.” (Douglass 82) Unlike most of the pathos used in Douglass’ book, this has a...
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