Frederick Douglass writes The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass during the time before the Civil War, surprisingly as a freed slave. As a slave there were many obstacles that had to be overcome to write a narrative of this sort and Douglass is very successful at doing this. By using formal English, excessive amounts of adjectives in an inspired tone, imagery, pathos and an enlightened mood Douglass is successfully able to get his point across to his audience. .
Douglass uses formal English instead of informal to better appeal to his audience, who is used to the formal way of writing. He does not write in the vernacular, which is very deviant from the way a freed slave at the time would write. Douglass does this to appeal to his white educated audience so that he would, in the narrative, appear an equal to any of the readers. He also uses politically correct terms, such as "colored man" instead of the offensive "nigger" so that his audience will not feel uncomfortable with the text. .
In the majority of the passage Frederick Douglass makes good use of adjectives to give an inspired feeling to the audience. He uses so many adjective that it almost gives the feeling of hyperboles being used because of the exaggeration in the quantity of adjectives For example, he says "gazing with wonder and admiration at the splendid churches, beautiful dwellings, and finely-cultivated garden", "cheerful earnestness", "all seemed to go smoothly on." He makes many comparisons of slavery to the free wharves to increase the effect. When he says: "I heard no deep oaths or horrid curses on the laborer. I saw no whipping of men- he shows a profound difference from slavery to now. All of these adjectives give the reader a new motivation in the story. This is one of the first times in the novel that Douglass shows how he really feels in an exaggerated manner with all of the adjectives . He does this so that the reader can compare with the narrative before and read this passage and truly feel all of its meaning.