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When Fredrick was young, he was grossly mistreated. He often competed with his master’s dogs for table scraps and bones to keep him from starving. He started to serve as a houseboy in the home of Hugh and Sophia Auld in Baltimore in 1825. This is where he was taught how to read and write. However her husband came to know of it and put a stop to it. At this time, Douglass had acquired enough to decipher many ills that were happening in the time.
This early life of Fredrick Douglass affected his life later as He looked to address slavery sternly and try to emancipate his fellow statesmen from its fangs. He was really infuriated by the double standards in the time and the state of slavery that he had been brought up. His speech analysis below addresses the themes and styles he used to address the issue (Nick 1993).
Douglas addresses the issue of slavery by using themes which generally pass the message better to the public and the audience that he is addressing. He emphasizes on the need to get knowledge and education so that they can be able to curb slavery and have equal rights with the people who held them as slaves. He says ‘No nation can now shut itself up from the surrounding world, and trot round in the same old paths of its fathers without interference. The time was when such could be done. Long established customs of hurtful characters could formerly fence themselves in, and do their evil work with social impunity. Knowledge was then confined and enjoyed by the privileged few, and the multitude walked on in mental darkness. But a change has now come over the affairs of mankind’ (pp. 419). In this excerpt, he shows the importance of knowledge as the tool that was to be used to salvage the Americans from the bondage of slavery. He further uses a metaphor to show the lack of knowledge by terming it as mental darkness. This helps in passing the message well.
In his speech, Douglass uses literary skills to give the audience hope
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Douglass was very hard working and he gained his identity as an author and speaker as he wrote many works and was used to speak on topics of social reformation. He was a slave by birth as his mother was also a slave. However, it was his struggle and enthusiasm that enabled him to liberate himself from slavery.
The speech was delivered using concrete sentences which communicated the essence of the speech to the audience in just as much intensity as it was required. The speech was delivered in such a manner that it made a number of people realize the importance of human rights and equality.
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