The vivid feeling of relief and elation as a result of escaping the clutches of slavery is evident from the analogies and figurative language Douglass uses in the beginning of the passage. Douglass states he struggled to express exactly what significance freedom in the North had on his immediate mental state. However, he manages to use words such as “highest excitement” to present the level of relief he acquired from escaping, giving a connotation of obvious unlimited happiness. He further described such a dynamic feeling to his audience by comparing it to the feeling an “ . . . unarmed mariner [receives] when is rescued by a friendly man-of-war from the pursuit of a pirate.” This analogy not only helps the progression of the description of this relief but it also gives the audience imagery to connect the feeling to. He continued by including a line he previously used in letter to a friend living in New York of feeling as though he escaped “a den of hungry lions”. By including the words “hungry lions” one can see that he is referring to the South, full of slave masters ...
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...oncluding passage to his narrative for a specific purpose: to create a more profound connection with his audience on the basis of his experiences and thoughts. He creates a vision of relief in the beginning of the passage by means of diction, similes, and an impeccable amount of imagery. Douglass also applies an approach for the application of syntax, diction, and connotative sense to amplify the feelings of loneliness and paranoia presented after emancipation. The result is the masterpiece that fluently runs from one state of mind following his escape to another. It is a masterpiece with a timeless sense of moral values being unconsciously taught to its audience, whether or not they succeed in deciphering it.
Frederick Douglass. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. (Prestwick House, Inc., 1845).
Copyright ©2004 by Prestwick House.
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