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Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass Chapter 3 Analysis

  • Date Submitted: 11/12/2011 10:54 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 38.6 
  • Words: 477
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Douglass characterizes Colonel Lloyd and his plantation through the use of many literary devices. Douglass primarily uses antithetical structures, such as antithesis, juxtaposition, and chiasmus, in addition to using sarcasm to emphasize the irony of the slaves’ situations, and the poor treatment of the slaves by their masters. He uses climactic order, on the other hand, to build suspense and create a more profound impact on his audience, and to greater emphasize the tragedies the slaves so often faced. Douglass uses antithetical structures, climactic order, sarcasm, and contradictions in order to highlight the irony and corruption of the institution of slavery and its dehumanizing effects on both the slaves and the slaveholders.
Douglass uses juxtaposition and contradiction in lines 22-37 (“The Colonel also kept… Barney a very trying one”) in order to emphasize the irony in the fact that Colonel Lloyd treats his horses better than he treats his slaves. Douglass juxtaposes the second paragraph, one which boasts of Colonel Lloyd’s excellent treatment of his horses, in between the first and third paragraphs, both which describe the poor treatment of Lloyd’s own slaves. This placement suggests that Douglass treats even his animals better than his slaves as “in nothing   was Colonel Lloyd more particular than in the management of his horses”. In addition he
Douglass uses antithesis, chiasmus, climactic order, imagery, and sarcasm in lines 37-66 (“They never knew… ridges upon his back”) in order to emphasize the sadistic nature of slave owners, and the corruption and dehumanization of all who take place in the institution. Douglass states that the slaves were “whipped when least deserving, and escaped whipping when most deserving it”, which suggests the sadistic nature of the slave owners, as they whipped the slaves not as a punishment for wrongdoing, but for mere amusement and pleasure. In addition the sadism of slave owners is apparent in Lloyd’s rant (lines 45-51)...


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