Douglass uses parallelism, asyndeton, and simile to appeal to pathos in order to show the everyday dehumanization of slaves. Douglass utilizes parallelism as a means to make a list seem infinite. For example, he describes how he was practically kept naked by his masters with, “no shoes, no stockings, no jacket, no trousers, nothing on but a coarse tow linen shirt” (26). Douglass’s description of his minimal clothing reflects the simple everyday cruelty he experienced. He portrays this through the use of parallelism and asyndeton. The combination of the two make the list of clothing he does not receive sound never ending to the reader. Thus, appealing to pathos because having been provided no clothing sounds inhumane, and therefore also expresses one dehumanizing factor of slavery. Douglass also uses parallelism w...
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...ass understands this would anger his audience and therefore uses irony to emphasize the humour in how absurd the religion is practiced. Through irony, allusion and parallelism Douglass highlights the ways in which slavery is impacting Southern religion in a negative aspect.
Many abolitionists of the nineteenth century understood that slavery was cruel and dehumanizing to slaves, but, may not have understood its other corrupting influences. Douglass uses rhetorical devices and strategies to show not only the dehumanization of slaves, but also of slave masters and the negative influence slavery had on religion. These points would have stirred strong feelings in Douglass’s audience and expressed the need for abolition. Overall, Douglass demonstrates the need for the elimination of slavery to save not only African Americans, but also slave masters and Southern religion.
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