Who was Frederick Douglas?

             September 3, 1838 marks the first day of freedom for Frederick Douglass. On this first day from the "wretchedness" of slavery, Douglass felt the "blessedness of freedom." However, he soon finds that his free life will not always be blessed. Through figures of speech and syntax, Douglass conveys both a blessed and excited state of mind and an insecure and lonely state of mind.

             When questioned about his feelings upon becoming free, Douglass's response was that he was in a "moment of the highest excitement [he] ever experienced." The sentences that describe this state of mind are clear and simple. He stated his feelings easily by beginning sentences with "I have." The simple sentences help to convey a positive, happy state of mind. He writes these with few commas or dashes, which shows how sure he was about his positive state of mind. Figures of speech also play a factor in developing this state of mind. When Douglass escaped slavery, he describes his feelings with similes. He likened himself to an "unarmed mariner" who was rescued by a "friendly man-of-war" from a "pirate." He also says he felt as if he had just escaped a "den of lions." In both of these cases, if Douglass had simply said he was excited because he had escaped slavery, his message would not have evoked the same strong feelings his words did.

             "This state of mind.very soon subsided," and Douglass again felt "great insecurity and loneliness." The longer sentences of this state of mind contain dashes, which show the importance of each phrase they separate. This section contains a lot of feelings of nervousness, anxiousness, and fear, which can be seen in the long sentences. The last sentence in particular is very long-half of the paragraph-, with each phrase equal in importance, equal in showing the insecurity and loneliness Douglass feels. Douglass fears everyone because amongst the "brethren" are also "money-loving kidnappers.

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