Douglass employs a variety of figurative linguistic tactics throughout his work. In the first statement below, for example, Douglass compares the situation of a slave to the predicament of a free man using a succession of striking metaphors. In other words, as a slave, he would never be free to move as he pleased. Instead, he would be "caged like a wild animal" and subject to being "taken away with no more notice than if he were a tree." The second sentence elaborates on this comparison by explaining that as a free man, a person has greater freedom than a slave because he can decide what kind of life to live.
In addition to these comparisons, there are also similes and metaphors used by Douglass to explain the reality of slavery to his readers. For example, he compares the treatment of slaves to that of animals in order to make the oppression of black people apparent to his audience. As another example, he uses mythology to make his point about the cruelty of slavery when he says that "slavery is the same in spirit with the myth of Prometheus bound to a rock for giving mankind fire." Finally, Douglass compares the condition of slaves to that of prisoners when he remarks that "a slave is imprisoned without trial or judgment."
Figurative language is important in political speeches because it allows speakers to make abstract concepts more understandable to their listeners.
In this account of his journey for liberation, Douglass used images to represent in our thoughts and emotions the brutal and wicked wrongs of slavery. The reader is drawn into the misery of slavery because Douglass depicts it so eloquently and passionately. He uses words and images to make his readers feel what he is feeling as he describes the daily horrors of slavery.
Douglass uses language that creates feelings in his readers by making them think about what he is saying and showing them through his writing. For example, when he talks about how slaves are treated like animals, he is using animal images to make his readers understand how terrible it was to be a slave. When he writes about how the sun rises every morning over an enslaved people, he is putting us in the position of the slaves who had no choice but to look at the sun every day.
Douglass also uses visual images to explain concepts about slavery that cannot be expressed in words alone. For example, when he talks about how white owners justified slavery by claiming they were helping to build a nation, he is using pictures to get across ideas that could not be expressed in words at the time.
Finally, Douglass uses images to appeal to the heart as well as the mind of his readers.
In order to properly explain the state of slavery, Douglass provides both types of facts in his tale. By connecting the overall state of slavery to himself, he helps readers who know Douglass as an excellent speaker to realize the true repercussions of slavery. In addition, by dividing his story into past and present tense chapters, Douglass ensures that his audience understands that slavery has not improved since his own days.
In conclusion, Douglass uses historical fact to help explain the reality of slavery and also uses personal anecdote to bring life to his story.
Douglass' abilities came in handy during his escape attempts and later as a campaigner against slavery. Douglass was inspired to learn to read after hearing his master denounce slave education. He claimed that reading rendered a slave "unmanageable" and "discontented" (2054).
After the war, he began giving speeches around Maryland advocating for African American rights. The content of these speeches made it necessary for Douglass to write them down. This task alone would have been difficult for someone who had only been learning to read a few years earlier. But things became even more complicated when President Lincoln issued an executive order in August 1862 abolishing slavery in the Confederacy. In response, several southern states passed laws prohibiting any teaching of slaves how to read or write.
To avoid being punished by slavery owners, many African Americans stopped learning about their freedom. Those who didn't went into hiding to protect their families from being sold away.
The situation became so bad that in 1865 the United States Congress passed a law offering a $30,000 reward for the capture of anyone teaching slaves to read. This effort on behalf of African Americans got the support of several prominent abolitionists including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. They believed that literacy was crucial if African Americans were going to get equal treatment under the law.
In conclusion, slavery prevented many African Americans from learning how to read.
Douglass explores texts on injustice after training himself to read. He reads The Columbian Orator, a book in which a slave makes persuasive reasons for liberation. These literary encounters convince Douglass that the truth is powerful enough to overcome the most prejudiced slaveholder's prejudices. They inspire him to action.
Further, by reading The Columbian Orator aloud to an audience, Douglass becomes aware of his oratorical skills. He knows that public speaking is essential for an abolitionist and that he needs practice to become a good orator.
Finally, reading The Columbian Orator enables Douglass to understand human nature. It reveals to him that there are people who will not be convinced by reason alone but will need to see evidence of improvement in slaves who have been freed before they will agree to their own slavery. This understanding helps Douglass empathize with slaveholders and find ways to appeal to their better natures.
In conclusion, reading The Columbian Orator affects Douglass in many ways. First, it inspires him to fight for freedom for others by becoming an abolitionist. Second, it teaches him how to express himself orally which will be useful when he starts working as an abolitionist speaker.
Third, by reading The Columbian Orator aloud to an audience, Douglass learns about his oratorical abilities which will help him when he starts giving speeches for abolition.