Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass Ethos Essay

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Overcoming a Life of Brutality In, “The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass”, readers get a first person perspective on slavery in the South before the Civil War. The author, Frederick Douglass, taught himself how to read and write, and was able to share his story to show the evils of slavery, not only in regard to the slaves, but with regard to masters, as well. Throughout Douglass’ autobiography, he shares his disgust with how slavery would corrupt people and change their whole entire persona. He uses ethos, logos, and pathos to help establish his credibility, and enlighten his readers about what changes needed to be made. Frederick Douglass uses the rhetorical appeal, ethos, in two specific ways: to provide the credence of his statements and to identify himself to the reader. Douglass uses his writing skills to provide a familiar perception to which his readers are accustomed. He does not provide exact dates to accompany his story, because slaves back then were kept ignorant, as Douglass states, “I have no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it” (Douglass 19). Our culture thrives on important dates such as, someone’s birthday, a holiday, or an anniversary, etc., and Douglass was blind to all of these events. He identifies himself as a normal human being, when in fact, he has had what seems like to us, a completely …show more content…

Douglass appeals to pathos in his narrative through many quotes and traumatic events that he experienced. He states, “I was afraid to speak to anyone for fear of speaking to the wrong one, and thereby falling into the hands of money-loving kidnappers, whose business it was to lie in wait for their prey” (Douglass 113). By creating such an analogy, Douglass provokes guilty and sympathetic emotion from his readers. He’s saying that he doesn’t even know who he can and cannot trust, because slavery changes everyone’s personas and

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