Reception Speech Frederick Douglass - Essay Example

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Customer’s Name Subject Date Passage: 1 ‘RECEPTION SPEECH’ Frederick Douglass He is deprived of education. God has given him an intellect; the slaveholder declares it shall not be cultivated. If his moral perception leads him in a course contrary to his value as property, the slaveholder declares he shall not exercise it…
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Reception Speech Frederick Douglass
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Download file to see previous pages -- what must be the condition of that people? I need not lift up the veil by giving you any experience of my own. Every one that can put two ideas together, must see the most fearful results from such a state of things as I have just mentioned. If any of these three millions find for themselves companions, and prove themselves honest, upright, virtuous persons to each other, yet in these cases—few as I am bound to confess they are—the virtuous live in constant apprehension of being torn asunder by the merciless men-stealers that claim them as their property.  This is American slavery; no marriage--no education--the light of the gospel shut out from the dark mind of the bondman--and he forbidden by law to learn to read. If a mother shall teach her children to read, the law in Louisiana proclaims that she may be hanged by the neck. If the father attempts to give his son a knowledge of letters, he may be punished by the whip in one instance, and in another be killed, at the discretion of the court. Three millions of people shut out from the light of knowledge! It is easy for you to conceive the evil that must result from such a state of things. ...
Douglass’ writing style was more of a conversationalist. His work speaks out for itself. It seems, almost, as if the words have a voice of their own and they shout and cry to be heard. No wonder Douglass was able to influence so many people and earn his own respect in 19th century America. A society where black slavery was a common practice, Douglass stood up, fought for his freedom and made his own mark. From the extract above, it can be seen how much importance Douglass paid to education. He stresses several times over how the black population’s right to literacy has been throttled. By referring to how God has given every man intellect, he tries to emphasize that black people are no lesser than any whites. Moreover, further using the phrase ‘the light of the gospel shut out from the dark mind’, he stresses how religious understanding can also be a form of education as it elevates a person and enlighten him with new ideas. He creates vivid imagery to arouse the feelings of his audience. By using examples such as ‘hanging your mother’, ‘whipping’ and ‘killing your father’ he tries to create fury and a feeling of helplessness, desperateness and rebellion in his audience at the same time. Using phrases such as ‘torn asunder’ he expresses the frustration he experiences being a part of such merciless white dominant society. He further uses the phrase ‘men-stealers’ to emphasize that the real problem and crimes are committed by the white instead of the black. Furthermore, the text questions the ideology created by American society, its hypocritical and two faced standards. It can be observed from Douglass’ text that he is a fearless man expressing all ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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