Frederick Douglass sought to shift the domestic debate over slavery by emphasizing particular themes of his life experience. Explain these themes

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The wording of the question is quite strong.  If, indeed, Douglass sought to move the domestic debate over slavery towards the abolitionist side, he certainly was persuasive in what he was suggesting in his work.  One such assertion as to the elimination of slavery could be seen in the horrific lives that slaves led.  The thematic development of the horror of slavery was shown on both the levels of the slaveowners who represented the very essence of cruelty and the slaves themselves who endured the very essence of pain.  Douglass brings these realities out in a manner that the American public had not seen to such a forceful extent.  Another argument that was persuasive in the argument against slavery was how Douglass presented that a nation steeped in promise and possibility had denied this to people of color, those forced to endure the life of the slave.  Douglass was able to make the argument that American freedom and hope, essential components to its national character, were flouted when slavery exists within the very same nation.

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