Summary Analysis At this point, Douglass can now give accurate dates when describing his experience.
Published intwo decades before the Emancipation Proclamation, the book is a brutally honest portrayal of slavery's dehumanizing capabilities. By clearly establishing his credibility and connecting with his audience, Douglass uses numerous rhetorical devices to argue for the immorality of slavery.
Ethos Ethos is the establishment of authors' credibility and authority to write about a topic. According to teaching resources developed by Nicole Schubert of the Yale National Initiative, Douglass' narrative was a groundbreaking work because slaves had never been able to speak about their experiences.
For example, Douglass begins to build his ethos in the opening of chapter one when he says that he doesn't know his birthday, unlike white citizens, who know all the details of their lives.
Beginning with this fact establishes that Douglass can be trusted because of his direct personal experience.
Pathos Pathos is the author's appeal to the audience's emotions. The writing resource site Writing Commons states that emotional appeal uses language in a way that helps audiences empathize with the author. Throughout the narrative, Douglass describes his experiences in a way that lets audiences feel the indignity of being owned by another person.
For example, Douglass recounts the experience of watching the slaveholder whip his aunt until she was covered in blood and the pleasure the slaveholder seemed to take in it.
The graphic description of her abuse makes readers feel the same anger Douglass must have experienced. Anecdotes An anecdote is a brief story often used in argumentative texts to prove a point. As a narrative, Douglass' memoir weaves multiple anecdotes together, each illustrating a different aspect of slavery's immorality.
For example, in chapter eight, Douglass' elderly grandmother is expelled from the plantation because she is too old to work anymore. Despite her faithful service, even caring for her master when he was a child, the plantation owners cast her into the woods to live alone.
This anecdote demonstrates that slavery places a person's value purely on their physical ability without consideration of their humanity. Irony Irony is a rhetorical device that reveals the disparity between reality and what is expected.
In arguments, it often reveals the unfairness or fallacies of a particular situation. Douglass often uses irony to reveal the flaws in the logic of slavery. For example, in chapter three, Douglass describes the obsessive attention his former master, Colonel Lloyd, paid to his horses.
If the slaves in charge of caring for the horses made any mistakes, Lloyd would beat them. Douglass uses irony here to show that Lloyd treats his animals better than he treats the human slaves. Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article.Technically, Frederick Douglass's book is an autobiography.
After all, it's the story of his life from the time of his birth to the time he wrote the book, in But it also has a lot of importa. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave: Written by Himself study guide contains a biography of Frederick Douglass, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Technically, Frederick Douglass's book is an autobiography. After all, it's the story of his life from the time of his birth to the time he wrote the book, in .
From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Study Guide has everything you need to .
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
The Self-Destructive Hypocrisy of Christian Slaveholders. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by: Frederick Douglass Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass that was is a memoir by Frederick Douglass that was first published in .