Impact Of Slavery According To Frederick Douglass

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Frederick Douglass

Throughout this passage coming from the Narrative of Douglas, Douglass is referring to the women at his new plantation, or his new “home”. He portrays the idea that slavery truly does have a very impactful and large effect on everyone who witnesses it or is involved with it, rather than just the slaves themselves, specifically through the words, “soon commenced its infernal work” (Douglass 77-78). Essentially, one could say that slavery changes who a person is entirely, and this is demonstrated perfectly through Douglass’ words throughout this passage.

Douglass shows the true impact slavery leaves on everyone through the picture he paints into your head, which stems from his use of imagery when he states, “cheerful eye” and “red with rage” (Douglass 77-78). The use of the imagery impacts readers, and brings to life the idea that slavery was life changing as it shows that her once happy self was changed the minute her life was introduced to slavery through her new marriage, as prior to this she had never experienced the horror of slavery. She was once pure and innocent, yet that was all taken away from her when she entered the world of slavery. The torture her and her husband were inflicting on others took a toll on her personality as a whole, and eventually sucked all of the life out of her.

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Following this, Douglass’ use of a metaphor through the words, “angelic face gave place to that of a demon” (Douglass 77-78) shows yet again the idea that people change entirely through the terrifying, and horrific process that slavery was,

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