Narrative of Frederick Douglass

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, First-person narrative Pages: 3 (1222 words) Published: March 24, 2013
The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass, titled “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, utilizes five key literary devices in order to better convey Douglass's journey from enslavement to freedom. This includes the use of Imagery, diction, first person point of view, specific details, and allusion. Each of these is used to help convey the experiences of slavery, as well as the joys and fears of being a freed slave.

The use of Imagery throughout the narrative engrosses the reader and provides him with a better sense of the ideas and experiences of Douglass. An example of these is when Douglass looked out onto the Chesapeake bay, at which point he saw several ships with white sails. These struck him profoundly, acting as a beacon of light in the midst of his dark circumstances. These white sails seemed to be an idea of hope and freedom, the thought that one day he too could be like the ships, with nothing but the wind to guide him. Another example of Imagery is when Douglass first receives Sandy's “Magical” root. This was supposed to protect Douglass from further beatings by his slave masters, an idea that he easily discarded. In doing this, Douglass shows his difference from the other uneducated slaves, with the root making a distinction between how the educated and uneducated believe things occur. Still, Douglass did keep the root as a sort of last resort, an action that seems to show just how desperate Douglass was to ward off his abuse.

The use of Diction throughout the story helps the reader to get a better sense of the mindset of Douglass. One example of this is when Douglass was sent to work with Mr. William Gardner. Here, he described his change in ownership as being “Hired” out, almost as if he were an employee of his master, instead of being lent or borrowed. Douglass didn't see this as abnormal, someone telling him who to work for without any regard for his own preference. Another example of word choice is when he describes is mistress as...
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