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Frederick Douglass Rhetorical Strategies

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Frederick Douglass Rhetorical Strategies
There is no question that times have changed drastically since the publication of Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass in 1845. The largest difference between modern day and the nineteenth century, however, is the hideous practice of slavery. Obviously today, nearly everyone realizes how repugnant the practice of slavery was. During the life of Frederick Douglass, though, slavery was simply an integral factor in the everyday lives of pre-Civil War American citizens. The daunting task to convince readers of how detrimental the practice of slavery is, is a mission that would be difficult even for an established white man let alone a recently freed slave. Frederick Douglass successfully reveals to his readers the dangers …show more content…
Douglass’s journey to becoming a logical, educated man from an illiterate slave was a long and difficult one. He eventually learned how to read and write through teachings from a slave holder’s wife, Sophia Auld, Baltimore children, and learning by himself. It is evident in his narrative how smart Douglass is, and the logical presentation of it convinces readers of its legitimacy. An example of Douglass using logos is in chapter II when explaining how the singing done by slaves is done out of sorrow and misery, and not happiness as many people believed. “Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of the heart, and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears” (Douglass 9)*. Here, Douglass clearly explains to the readers why slaves actually sing in order to mend their sadness, not because they are happy. It is not logical to think that slaves would be happy enough to sing in their condition, and he explicitly shows …show more content…
Douglass had an unmatched hatred for slavery, but he had an even deeper hate for a select few aspects of it. A few of these aspects of slavery that Douglass particularly hated was the ignorance forced upon slaves and the victimization of women. Frederick Douglass felt that knowledge and education was the key to freedom, and this was his motivation to learn how to read and write. Also Douglass’s hate for the victimization done to women can be traced back to when he was a child in chapter I. A young Douglass witnesses his Aunt Hester being severely whipped for the first time, and it is a memory that stays with him for the rest of his life. Aspects of slavery such as these are reasons why Douglass works so hard in the abolitionist movement after becoming

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