In a letter to Captain Thomas Laud published in a newspaper, Frederick Douglass confronts Captain Laud in a public manner about their previous relationship as slave and slave master. Douglass presents himself as intelligent and sophisticated, which proves that he is capTABLE of acting in a manner that is opposite of current stereotypes. Some of these stereotypes of slaves are that they are uneducated, always violent, of low class, and inferior to white men.
Douglass presents himself in this way by vocabulary choice and appeals to pathos and Kaisers.
Douglass chooses to use subtle verbal attacks o make his argument rather than using harshness such as vulgar language or a direct accusation. The subtle verbal attacks are expressed through analogies and figurative language. Douglass is using his style of writing that includes figurative language and subtleness to attack Laud, prove his position as an intelligent human being, and spread word of his experiences and examples of sophistication to society.
Douglass addresses Captain Laud as “sir” in the opening of this letter.
This opening sentence illustrates the professionalism that Douglass intends o keep through the duration of this letter by using a word that gives Laud credibility. The use of “sir’ keeps the superiority of Laud to Douglass clear. However, the control over Douglass because of superiority is questioned in the manner that Douglass writes the passage. Douglass’ letter is published in the North Star a public newspaper.
This is significant because it is accessible by everyone including the captain, slave owners, slaves, freed slaves, and common people. All of these people can read about Laud’s actions a slave master, therefore causing humiliation for Laud. Douglass purpose is to prove myself as sophisticated to the white men and show that slaves have the potential to be just as intelligent as white men are with opportunities for education as white men have. Douglass sets an example for those who may be in positions of inferiority through his letter.
He illustrates how one should respond with subtle attacks that have a more lasting affect than ignorant violence would on those who treat inferior people with disrespect. The purpose of using subtle attacks would be that it does not create a sense of offense like a direct attack would on one that is being attacked. Douglass still insults Captain Laud and speaks about how wrong the captain was but does not come off as harsh; such as in lines thirteen and fourteen.
Douglass uses the sentence “In thus dragging you again before the public… ” This is an example of irony that Douglass uses as a subtle attack. By using this tool in his writing Douglass displays how by publishing this in a public manner, Captain Laud will be embarrassed and forced to be confronted with his actions that included the enslavement of Frederick. In lines thirty – six to thirty – eight Frederick uses the sentence “… Man guilty of theft, robbery, or murder, has forfeited the right to concealment… Douglass implies that one who enslaves people is committing a theft, robbery, and murder. He uses these terms associated with crime and court to further support his argument that Captain Laud is to be confronted with his harsh actions in public such as enslaving Douglass expressed in line 57 and 58 through the line “you bright sun beheld me a slave-a poor degraded chattel…. ” In lines 75 to 77 Douglass states “I was like going to war without weapons-ten chances of defeat to one f victory. Douglass uses this simile to express how dangerous of a task he was going to attempt to do and Douglass is TABLE to describe his harsh experiences and feelings in a way that keeps professionalism between Laud and himself. He does this by appealing to pathos and Kaisers. Douglass is successful in keeping his letter subtle and sophisticated. In lines fifty – two and fifty – three, he states that the reason he has chosen to write this letter to Captain Laud in the North Star on this date is because it is the anniversary of his emancipation.
This is an example of an appeal to Kaisers because this occasion is an opportunity to bring up the topic of his enslavement. This is a significant time to express his feelings about his treatment from Laud and to prove his argument that he TABLE to accuse Laud with sophistication-For example, In lines 56 to 60 Douglass tells about his experience of his enslavement by appealing to pathos and describing in great detail the scene and emotions he was feeling. Douglass is TABLE to tell of this experience but yet still keep professionalism in his argument. He doesn’t directly attack the captain.
In lines 65 to 69 Douglass describes his exact feelings. He says “l have no words to describe to you the deep agony of soul which I experienced… ” This expresses to the public just how much of an impact this experience had on Douglass. The impact is expressed through the Lastly, in lines 82 to 85 Douglass explains how Captain Laud will never know how Douglass feels. The way Douglass uses intelligent wording makes the reader think more about what Douglass is saying and it is more effective in his argument rather than using harsh and direct verbal attacks
Frederick Douglass professional confrontation in a public newsletter to Captain Thomas Laud proves his intelligence and credibility. Being a former slave, he is TABLE to appeal to current slaves as well as freed slaves by expressing the way in which they should react to harsh experiences such as enslavement and abuse. By breaking the stereotypical cover of an African- American then he was TABLE to show his equality with slave owners though his writing. With the use of subtleness, intelligent writing, and literary elements, Douglass is TABLE to support his argument without a sense of harsh accusations.
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