Frederick Douglass Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What are 2 examples from Douglass's Narrative in which he uses sentimentalism and/or emotion to manipulate the reader?

Expert Answers info

Olen Bruce eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write4,269 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

One example in which Douglass appeals to sentiment and emotion is in the first chapter. In this excerpt, he speaks about being separated from his mother at a young age. He writes:

My mother and I were separated when I was but an infant—before I knew her as my mother. It is a common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at a very early age.

His parting from his mother is tragic, and his retelling of this separation is intended to point out the evils of slavery to the white readership of his book. His appeal to sentiment is intended to convince the reader of the evils of slavery, which includes the practice of tearing vulnerable children from their mothers at a young age.

Later, in chapter 10, Douglass discusses the harsh treatment he receives as a field hand under the barbaric Mr. Covey. When Douglass is in chains, he is within sight of the Chesapeake Bay, and he sees the sailboats in the bay. He writes of this sight: "You are loosed...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 748 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write11,494 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Kitty Sharp eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,509 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial