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In the tradition of African American literacy, Fredrick Douglass is among the most celebrated writers; however, his very first autobiography was marked as one of the most broadly read slave narratives of North America. Both An American Slave and the Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass were published in the year 1845, after Douglass escaped from slavery.
The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, Douglass acts as the protagonist and the narrator, in these two roles he appears absolutely different. Douglass progress can be noted all the way to worldly political commentator from uneducated oppressed slave. Throughout the narrative Douglass regularly dramatizes the distinction stuck between his older, his experienced self and his younger self via reference to his ignorance.
One of the major illustration of this kind of dramatization can be noted when Douglass teases how he was excited to encounter the city of Annapolis as a young man. Annapolis city that now appeared small to him by the Northern industrial cities standards.
However, one of the most memorable scenes in The Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave appears in chapter 8. In this chapter Douglass bewails his grandmother’s desertion in a wood by herself. Additionally, his clear foundation of his sincerity and the mode of his language use to describe his mother’s loneliness support his case for the slavery immorality.
Initially, Frederick Douglass employs culture, which builds up strong link among the readers and his argument. He sets up power to write about this topic by stating, “If one thing in my experience, served to fill me with unutterable loathing of slaveholders, it was their base gratitude to my poor old grandmother” (57). In this case, he is basically setting up credibility in that the given story is about his own abandoned grandmother who has for a period of time suffered from slavery with him on the same farm where he works.
Secondly, misery is also used by Douglass; this is largely utilized in this scene. According to (), Douglass expresses emotions to the readers by basically helping readers to recognize and understand with his experiences by discussing about his troubled grandmother, which most readers can associate to. He also describes his own grandmother’s faithful service to the master; by saying that she “rocked him in infancy, attended him in childhood, and served him through life” (57).
However, this induces the reader’s memories of their own beloved grandmothers. He also builds up a vibrant image of his own grandmother who is awaiting death by saying “she stands – she sits – she staggers – she falls – she groans – she dies” (59). From this
In this way, Douglass’s grandmother becomes an object of sympathy, which could lead to people’s outrage and encourage their participation in the movement to abolish slavery