Presentation on theme: "Chapter One, Page Six Meredith Sears. Passage Chapter: 1Page: 6 6 The overseer’s name was Plummer. Mr. Plummer was a miserable drunkard, a profane swearer,"— Presentation transcript:
Passage Chapter: 1Page: 6 6 The overseer’s name was Plummer. Mr. Plummer was a miserable drunkard, a profane swearer, and a savage monster. He always went armed with a cowskin and a heavy cudgel. I have known him to cut and slash the women’s heads so horribly, that even master would be enraged at his cruelty, and would threaten to whip him if he did not mind himself. Master, however, was not a humane slaveholder. It required extraordinary barbarity on the part of an overseer to affect him. He was a cruel man, hardened by a long life of slaveholding. He would at times seem to take great pleasure in whipping a slave.  I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heart-rending shrieks of an own aunt of mine, whom he used to tie up to a joist, and whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood. No words, no tears, no prayers, from his gory victim, seemed to move his iron heart from its bloody purpose.  The louder she screamed, the harder he whipped; and where the blood ran fastest, there he whipped longest. He would whip her to make her scream, and whip her to make her hush ; and not until overcome by fatigue, would he cease to swing the blood-clotted cowskin.  I remember the first time I ever witnessed this horrible exhibition. I was quite a child, but I well remember it. I never shall forget it whilst I remember anything.It was the first of a long series of such outrages, of which I was doomed to be a witness and a participant. It struck me with awful force.  It was the bloodstained gate, the entrance to the hell of slavery, through which I was about to pass.  It was a most terrible spectacle. I wish I could commit to paper the feelings with which I beheld it.cudgel   cowskin 
Annotation 1 The previously described as despicable master, who Douglass had states was unafraid to separate families and “sell entire classes of slaves’ just because he felt like it was now made out to almost humane in relation to the overseer. Who would punish the slaves brutally both if they didn’t behave or just for his own sadistic sense of entertainment. Even coming to the point of treating the overseer like a slave himself by “threatening to whip him if he did not mind himself”. This can be considered ironic in that the man who was hired to mind the slaves and punish them if necessary now fell under the inhumane judgment of the master, such as if he himself was a slave. Return to passage I have known him to cut and slash the women’s heads so horribly, that even master would be enraged at his cruelty, and would threaten to whip him if he did not mind himself.
Annotation 2 Douglass employs pathos in this excerpt to highlight the lack of sympathy the slaveholder had towards the slaves. The use of the word extraordinary also highlights that while the master would sometimes punish the overseer for his cruel actions it would take near fatal action to affect him and drive him to take action against the slaveholder.pathos Return to passage Master, however, was not a humane slaveholder. It required extraordinary barbarity on the part of an overseer to affect him
Annotation 3 Return to passage He was a cruel man, hardened by a long life of slaveholding. He would at times seem to take great pleasure in whipping a slave. Douglass employs antithesis in this passage when he says “He would at times seem to take great pleasure in whipping a slave.” The whipping was obviously not an enjoyable or pleasurable experience for the slave, nor would it be for a humane person doing the whipping. Rather then experiencing remorse and sympathy towards the slave he was punishing he enjoyed himself and continued to whip the slave until she or he was screaming in agony.antithesis
Annotation 4 Douglass employs metaphor in this passage when he compares Mr. Plummer’s heart to a piece of iron. In reality his heart was not made of actual iron it had just taken on the qualities of iron in that it had become hard and impermeable to the suffering of the slaves he controlled, even when his brutal actions placed them in the face of death Return to passage No words, no tears, no prayers, from his gory victim, seemed to move his iron heart from its bloody purpose.
Annotation 5 The repetition of structure in this sentence is an example of isocolon and shows the cause and effect relationship of the overseer’s action and the slave’s response. The sentence structure suggests that as long as the slave continued to react to their punishment, the overseer would continue, also suggesting that the overseer would continue with his punishment of the slave until they had either lost consciousness or had died.isocolon Return to passage The louder she screamed, the harder he whipped; and where the blood ran fastest, there he whipped longest.
Annotation 6 Douglass uses parallel structure in this excerpt to allude to the repetitiveness and the possibility of an infinite repetition of the whipping. Due to his use of parallelism Douglass is able to mimic a sentence that could continue on and on,-much like the whipping-without repeating the idea over multiple sentences. The reader can infer from this sentence that the whipping could continue until the slave stopped screaming as each scream lead to the succeeding whip to make the slave hush.parallel structure Return to passage He would whip to make her scream, and whip her to make her hush.
Annotation 7 In this excerpt Douglass employs antimetabole in this excerpt by reversing the order of not until overcome in order to convey the slaveholder’s persistence in teaching the slave a lesson. He worked and whipped past when he was physically exhausted just to continue to whip the slave. This shows the resentment he felt towards the slave despite the fact that the slave had done nothing wrong.antimetabole Return to passage and not until overcome by fatigue, would he cease to swing the blood-clotted cowskin.
Annotation 8 Douglass again changes his syntax to convey meaning, Douglass again employs antimetabole “I shall never forget it whilst I remember anything.” Adds gravity to the horrors he witnessed when he was a child. He felt that the memory of such would stick with him forever, even if he forgot everything else. antimetabole Return to passage I remember the first time I ever witnessed this horrible exhibition. I was quite a child, but I well remember it. I never shall forget it whilst I remember anything.
Annotation 9 In this case Douglass uses the word “awful” to convey the severity of his realization. In this case, the word awful does not describe something as bad as much as it does the weight of the realization and how it affected him. Return to passage It struck me with awful force.
Annotation 10 Douglass employs allusion in this excerpt, the bible often speaks of theoretical gates in to hell, such as in Matthew 16:18 “…and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” and are also often described as bloodstained, just as Douglass describes the bloodstained gates into slavery, his and many other’s personal form of hell on earth. In this excerpt he is talking about his own entrance into the harsh reality of slavery and equates it to his entrance into hell. Return to passage It was the bloodstained gate, the entrance to the hell of slavery, through which I was about to pass.
Annotation 11 Douglass employs antithesis in this section of the passage. A spectacle usually has a positive connotation i.e. a carnival, but in this case the event is the whipping of a slave which is a terrible and not at all positive or enjoyable event. This sharp contrast again highlights the awful state the lives of him and his fellow slaves. Not only were they suffering, there was also a twisted sense of enjoyment felt by his master and overseer while the slaves were being brutally beaten. Return to passage It was a most terrible spectacle
Rhetorical term Return to passage Pathos Appeals to the heart, emotions, sympathy, passions, sentimentality.
Rhetorical Term Return to passage antithesis the juxtaposition of sharply contrasting ideas in balanced or parallel words
Rhetorical Term Return to passage isocolon parallel structure in which the parallel elements are similar not only in grammatical structure, but also in length
Rhetorical Term Return to passage parallel structure the use of similar forms in writing for nouns, verbs, phrases, or thoughts
Rhetorical Term Return to passage Antimetabole: Figure of emphasis in which the words in one phrase or clause are replicated, exactly or closely, in reverse grammatical order in the next phrase or clause; an inverted order of repeated words in adjacent phrases or clauses (A-B, B-A).
Cudgel Return to passage noun a short thick stick used as a weapon.
Cowskin Return to passage noun a heavy flexible whip braided from leather made from the hide of a cow
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