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Transcript of Literary Elements
Throught the narrative, Frederick reaccounts of all the people he encountered and their impact on his life. Many of the people Douglass mentioned had names ranging from Mr. Severe to Mr. Freeland. Mr. Severe was described as an unpleasant, despicable, and brutal overseer while Mr. Freeland was pronounced as a gentle and sympathetic master. These titles encapsulated each individual's personality and disposition to further reinstate what each character was like.
When Sandy Jenkins advised Douglass to take the root because of the positive superstition that surrounded it, this symbolized the cultural and religious beliefs of slaves. The root signified the slave's slight amount of hope for a better life even though the root was never proven to withhold special powers.
Frederick used the Columbian Orator(page 34) to educate himself of the injustices of slavery and to become familiar with the fruit of abolition. The Columbian Orator symbolized human rights as well as the power of eloquence that drove Frederick to become a free man.
Frederick struggles to free himself from the bonds of slavery mentally and physically throughout the narrative. He tries to strategize an escape but is held back as the police figure out his motives. This failure yields Douglass from plotting escape afterwards and diminishes his hope of freedom. "The more I read, the more I was led to abhor and detest my enslavers."(page 35) As Frederick read the Columbian Orator and became emerged into the grim sea of slavery he felt as if he were cursed to be presented with the facts with no solution to his predicament.
Frederick alluded to the Bible multiple times such as on page 4,"If their increase do no other good, it will do away the force of the argument, that God cursed Ham, and therefore American slavery is right." Douglass also alludes Patrick Henry's famous declaration,"Give me liberty or give me death," by stating,"In coming to a fixed determination to run away, we did more than Patrick Henry, when he resolved upon liberty or death."(page 74) These allusions enhance the narrative by making it more impactful and they help to evoke a stronger emotion in his narrative.
Http://www.ibiblio.org/ebooks/Douglass/Narrative/Douglass_Narrative.pdf. N.p., n.d. Web.
While Douglass resided on Covey's small plantation, he concentrated upon the white crested ships gliding across the bay but thought of them with envy next to his worthless place in slavery."Those beautiful vessels, robed in purest white, so delightful to the eye of freemen, were to me so many shrouded ghosts, to terrify and torment me with thoughts of my wretched condition,"(page 56) shows how Douglass longed to be a free man with liberties as any other. Later on page 78, Frederick and the other enslaved men conspire to sail across the Chesapeake Bay and escape to the north. Frederick's earlier description of the pure and free vessels foreshadows that later on in his life he may ponder the thought of escape or may attempt it in the hopes of becoming a free person of value.