Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave Questions and Answers
by Frederick Douglass

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What are some literary devices from the book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass?

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In his narrative, Douglass's intent is to convince white audiences of the horrors and evil of slavery. He uses literary devices to convey the inhumanity of an institution in which one group of people has total power over another. These devices include imagery, point-of-view, and dichotomy.   

Douglass uses vivid imagery to convey to his audience the reality of the life of a slave. He doesn't just state that slaves were whipped: he describes it using sensory details so that readers can feel the pain and humiliation of the slave. He writes:

I have seen Colonel Lloyd make old Barney, a man between fifty and sixty years of age, uncover his bald head, kneel down upon the cold, damp ground, and receive upon his naked and toil-worn shoulders more than thirty lashes at the time.

Douglass always tells his story from the point-of-view of the slaves, and he uses this technique to dispel comforting myths that whites tell themselves about slavery not being so bad. For example, he writes in chapter two that...

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