A human being is a complicated entity of a contradictory nature where creative and destructive, virtuous and vicious are interwoven. Each of us has gone through various kinds of struggle at least once in a lifetime ranging from everyday discrepancies to worldwide catastrophes. There are always different causes and reasons that trigger these struggles, however, there is common ground for them as well: people are different, even though it is a truism no one seems to able to realize this statement from beyond the bounds of one’s self and reach out to approach the Other. The concept of the Other is dominant in Frederick Douglass’s text “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”, for it determines the main conflict and illuminates the issue of intolerance and even blasphemy regarding the attitude of white Americans towards Negroes. The text was written as a speech to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and delivered at Rochester’s Corinthian Hall on July 5, 1852. It was a remarkable articulation of the Black people voice living in the United States of America at that point of time because Black people were going through too much humiliation on physical and moral levels (Andrews, 1991, p.46). In order to get to the gist of the speech and reveal the emotional resonance it creates, a historical background timeline needs to be sketched. The period of the 1850s in the USA was especially tough for slaves due to several significant events that happened within this period of time. First of all, there was Nashville Convention held on June 3, 1850 the goal of which was to protect the rights of slaveholders and extend the dividing line northwards. September 18 of the same year brought the Fugitive Slave Act according ... ... middle of paper ... ... William Lloyd Garrison the main idea of which is to set free the enslaved ones and establish legal state based on true democracy and equality of people. This moment is especially powerful because it allows Douglass to extend the scope of his influence. He makes an attempt to show that all people are the same, there are no exceptions. There will also come times when things will change as long as there are people who can recognize and tolerate otherness without harming this Other. Works Cited Andrews, William L. Critical Essays on Frederick Douglass. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1991. Chapman, Mary, Glenn Hendler. Sentimental Men: masculinity and the politics of affect in American culture. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1999. Foner, Philip S. The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, Volume II Pre-Civil War Decade 1850-1860. NY: International Publishers Co., Inc., 1950
In the passage of the Narrative of Fredrick Douglass, the author masterfully conveys two complimentary tones of liberation and fear. The tones transition by the use of diction and detail. The passage is written entirely in first person, since we are witnessing the struggles of Fredrick Douglass through his eyes. Through his diction, we are able to feel the triumph that comes with freedom along with the hardships. Similarly, detail brings a picturesque view of his adversities. Since the point of view is first person, the reader is able to be a part of the Douglass’ struggles with his new freedom. With diction, detail, and point of view, the reader is able to get a rare glimpse into the past of Fredrick Douglass.Fredrick Douglass’ diction is powerful as he describes his life as a slave and with his new freedom. Fredrick Douglass calls being enslaved an act of “wretchedness,” yet he was able to remain “firm” and eventually left the “chains” of slavery. Fredrick Douglass expresses that being enslaved is a wretched act and that no man should ever deserve such treatment. Despite being a slave, he kept strong and eventually broke the chain of society. However, Fredrick Douglass experienced great “insecurity” and “loneliness” with his new freedom, and was upon a new “hunting-ground.” His new freedom brought other devastating factors, being a new state without any friends, which caused his loneliness. In this new state, he grew insecure for he was in a new danger zone where at any time his freedom could be rejected. With new freedom come new obstacles, which are described in the diction of Fredrick Douglass.
On July 5th of 1852, the Ladies Antislavery Society of Rochester requested that emancipated slave, Fredrick Douglass, speak for their celebration of the United States’ national independence. Douglass accepted this request and presented a powerful speech that explained and argued his true beliefs and feelings concerning this event. He considered their decision to request him as a speaker on that day to be a mockery of his past and of the ongoing status of blacks as slaves in America at the time. Nevertheless, Douglass skillfully constructed his speech utilizing various methods that forced his audience to take him seriously and think twice about the issue of slavery in America. His passion about the subject, his ability to captivate his audience, and his persuasive skills combine to form a clearly effective speech that continues to be studied to this day. Douglass warmed up his audience by commending the moral and patriotic excellence of their forefathers. He then delivered the argument of his speech which cleverly criticized the hypocrisy of the institution of slavery and those who tolerated or supported it. Yet, to conclude his speech, Douglass asserts that there is still hope for the young nation so as not to leave the audience completely discouraged. The way in which Douglass constructed and delivered this speech had a lasting impact and left his audience with an effectively argued point to consider.
The title of the book for my report is Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, by himself. Its genre is autobiography, and it was first published in 1881 and later revised in 1893. The tone of the novel is contemplative and reflective. He talks about his thoughts on his circumstances and the actions of others constantly and often explains why things were as they were, such as the white children he was friends with as a child not agreeing with slavery. The book tells about his life, including his first realizations of slavery, his experiences and hardships growing up as a slave, his religious enlightenment, his escape from slavery, and his rise to the top as an influential voice for blacks in America. His style includes formal language and going into detail on his reflections.
The author gives well-founded conclusions as they are based on a thorough analysis of the work of the writer. These findings have given me a chance to see the dynamics of Douglass’s identity under the influence of various factors, including the opposition between the two types of identity - the identity of a slave and the identity of a free man.
On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass, an African-American ex-slave and abolitionist, delivered a speech in Rochester, New York at the city’s annual Fourth of July Celebration, to the citizens of Rochester. Allowing the people of Rochester only a day to immerse in the “patriotic” festivities of the Fourth of July, Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the 4th of July?” challenges American ideals such as liberty, equality and justice, by providing arguments that examine the religious, moral and constitutional principles that the American people claim to abide by and glorify. Through rhetorical strategies such as repetition, pathos and logos, Douglass exposes the paradoxical nature of the Fourth of July.
Frederick Douglass made the most of his years after escaping from slavery in 1852. Douglass spread his words against slavery through being a well-known writer. Douglass was one of the most prominent reform leaders of his era (Foner, 481). A popular document written by Frederick Douglass on July 5th, 1852, spread some powerful words among the nation. Douglass’s speech was titled “What to the slave is the Fourth of July”. When his speech was published, his intended audience was his “fellow citizens” and those unaware that the Fourth of July was a day of mourning for slaves; unlike white Americans celebrating the day of freedom. The reason Douglass’s speech was published was to bring attention to the separation on the Fourth of July between white and black Americans. Even though Frederick Douglass was free he could not celebrate but mourn the day for horror of the past and presence of slave cruelty.
The parallelism established through the use of “arm” shows a sense of equality between the slave and the slaveholder. In addition, when Douglass refers to the colored men as the nation’s “powerful black hand,” he demonstrates that African-Americans are an important part of the United States (Douglass 25). The audience is being told that they have the power to rebel against their oppressors, despite what they may have been told
...y afraid at first but finds out that there are many ex-slaves willing to take a stand and risk their lives to help their own. Douglass realizes that with the help from the ex-slaves he could also help his fellow slaves.
n Frederick Douglass’ What to the Slave is the 4th of July, he presents a simple yet morally complex argument. In his letter, Douglass states that it is hypocritical for a country to celebrate its freedom and separation from another country, yet still have slavery alive and well in the United States. Morally, this issue is a pretty straightforward argument and the very definition of hypocritical. Douglass also touches upon his belief that all men and women are equal, as stated in the constitution, yet slaves are subhuman. Another topic touched on is the contributing factors that perpetuate the constant and unjust nature of how slaves are treated, such as religion, agricultural, and over all demeanor towards slaves.
Douglas, Frederick. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (The Harper Single Volume American Literature 3rd edition) 1845:p.1017-1081
...understanding of freedom. By exposing the wrongs done to slaves, Douglass greatly contributed to the abolitionist movement. He also took back some of the power and control from the slaveholders, putting it in the hands of the enslaved.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, brings to light many of the social injustices that colored men, women, and children all were forced to endure throughout the nineteenth century under Southern slavery laws. Douglass's life-story is presented in a way that creates a compelling argument against the justification of slavery. His argument is reinforced though a variety of anecdotes, many of which detailed strikingly bloody, horrific scenes and inhumane cruelty on the part of the slaveholders. Yet, while Douglas’s narrative describes in vivid detail his experiences of life as a slave, what Douglass intends for his readers to grasp after reading his narrative is something much more profound. Aside from all the physical burdens of slavery that he faced on a daily basis, it was the psychological effects that caused him the greatest amount of detriment during his twenty-year enslavement. In the same regard, Douglass is able to profess that it was not only the slaves who incurred the damaging effects of slavery, but also the slaveholders. Slavery, in essence, is a destructive force that collectively corrupts the minds of slaveholders and weakens slaves’ intellects.