How do the devices and structure below help achieve the purpose of Chapter 9 in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Support your examples with information from the text. Given:...

How do the devices and structure below help achieve the purpose of Chapter 9 in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Support your examples with information from the text.

Given: Depictions of power and lack thereof/ religious hypocrisy 

Devices: diction and characterization 

 

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 9, Douglass uses characterization of his master, Thomas Auld, to illustrate the hypocrisy of religion and the corruption caused by power. Douglass characterizes his master as diabolical and uses powerful diction to show his master's evil nature. Douglass writes, "Bad as slaveholders are, we seldom meet one destitute of every element of character commanding respect. My master was one of this rare sort." Douglass also uses metaphorical language to describe Thomas Auld and writes, "At times, he spoke to his slaves with the firmness of Napoleon and the fury of a demon." Douglass's powerful word choice paints a vivid picture of his slave master as a devilish despot.

Douglass describes the way in which religion has made Auld even meaner and more despotic. After attending a Methodist camp meeting, the master, Douglass writes, is worse than ever. Douglass says, "it made him more cruel and hateful in all his ways." Rather than improving his character, religion makes the master worse than ever. In his characterization of his master, Douglas vividly shows the master's innate and enduring cruelty. Later, the master is shown whipping a woman mercilessly and reciting a verse from the Bible. This type of hypocrisy shows the way in which his master uses religion to be even crueler to his slaves. Douglass's powerful word choice and carefully drawn portrait of his master help the reader understand the hypocrisy of southern slave owners' religion.

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