Fred Douglas

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Paragraph, Slavery Pages: 2 (411 words) Published: September 10, 2014
Amanda Sanchez
September 8, 2014
P. 2, AP Lang.
Rhetorical Analysis
Frederick Douglas

In the autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave, Douglas reinforces the universal human condition of freedom through syntax, figurative language, and selection of detail. This is demonstrated in the third paragraph, which makes it stand out.

The stylistic elements used in the third paragraph clearly depicts Douglas' emotions toward freedom. This is peppered with metaphors such as "the glad ship is gone she hides in the dim distance" signifying freedom, in which Douglas seems to focus on the most. Imagery and comparison can also be seen in "you are freedom's swift-winged angels, that fly round the world; I am confined in bands of iron" where Douglas compares his life, to the life of a free man, his masters. As opposed to the first two paragraphs where his sentences were long and its tone was agony, in the third paragraph sentences are simpler. This signifies major shift in tone, making the piece sound more fluent and free. Douglas' tone is rapidly alternated once the third paragraph is introduced. The use of exclamation points emphasize a shift in tone from the matter-of-fact tone of the first paragraph to that of a longing and even desperation of the third paragraph. Douglas uses parallelism which distinguishes the third paragraph from the rest of the paragraphs. The sentence "O that I were free! O, that I were on one of your gallant decks" gives momentum to the piece. Douglas is crying out for help to be free.

Douglas' selection of detail in this piece is unbelievable and fascinating. He managed to capture the feelings of slaves through words and expressions. Douglas speaks to himself saying "the misery of being a slave will only increase his happiness." This demonstrates self-reflection and self-evaluation which signifies the loyalty he had for his masters. Douglas also reinforces the universal...
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