Andrew Jackson, a man who famously expanded the power of presidency during the 1830‘s once stated, “you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. ” Frederick Douglass mirrored this quotation throughout his life; being a man who was bred into slavery, transported like property, was beaten down, yet still had the ability to gather enough education that rid him of the solid chains bound upon him, otherwise known as injustice.
Renowned public speaker, Frederick Douglass, painted a horrifying image of his personal story that depicted the harsh life of slavery while he toured America as well as in the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. ” Douglass conveys his ultimatum of ending slavery by depicting his own plight to the freed man’s land. By using logical and emotional appeals Douglass adopts a motivational and tactful tone in order to plant a firm anti-slavery mindset in the thousands of abolitionists Douglass swooned throughout America.
In the case of Frederick Douglass, he eloquently uses pathos in order for the readers to understand a more tactful tone. Douglass writes in chapter three, “ The wife of Mr. Giles Hicks- murdered my wife’s cousin, a girl between fifteen and sixteen years of age, mangling her person in the most horrible manner,” which in the eyes of abolitionists in 1845 and even today in 2015 produces the uttermost sympathy for a young girl who instead of having a long fulfilled life, had dealt with another woman “breaking her nose and breastbone with a stick, so that the poor girl expired in the few hours afterward.
In his narrative, Douglass chose an audience that would react in the right way to the experiences a slave commonly encountered. He carefully implemented sensitivity in dealing with another slaves difficult issues by choosing words such as “poor girl” in order to make his point without making an enemy. Douglass also understood that the use of language like “mangling” and “expired” would disgust any reader who also shared the same belief that people are not property and being black should not allow tolerance for unjustified death.
There was an obvious reason presented in the novel that Douglass wrote, which explained why he acted so differently from the rest, especially in chapter four. “I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty- to wit, the white man’s power to enslave the black man,” Douglass acknowledges. The key to Douglass’s motivation was knowledge; he stated that when he attained an education from his master “it was a grand achievement,” and that he prized it highly. The reader is able to understand how much Douglass valued learning and the drive he had for his knowledge to expand.
Depicting himself as a growing child, Douglass demonstrated his growth as a human in order to make it logical for his readers to understand that his thirst for knowledge could not have been controlled. He “set out with high hope, and a fixed purpose, at whatever cost of trouble, to learn how to read. ” The author could not stress enough that his purpose at the time was to learn, and whippings or field work would not break him of his edification. Douglass learned firsthand that knowledge was power; after all, he learned to fight back in order to eventually claim his freedom.
In order to gain the respect from abolitionists of the time, Douglass has to use logic in order to set him as an equal to the white man. On the very first page of Douglass’s narrative he states that “the white children could tell their ages. I could not tell why I ought to be deprived of the same privilege. ” Douglass was kept ignorant of dates and was expected to only be concerned about harvesting time. As the novel continues and Douglass has a desire for education, he includes dates to show that he can prove himself to be an equal of a freed man.
He invites any dissenter to check him of his dates and facts and that in general boots the credibility of his claim that with an education a black man can accomplish the same goals as any white man. By securing this equality with his audience, he is then able to tactfully evoke emotion and influence a need for change. By evoking emotion through word choice, Douglass was able to interpret his story so notably that the reader or audience felt pity for the slaves, and desired a change.