Example Of The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Slavery, Slave, Family, Frederick Douglas, Life, Parents, Birth, Information

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/12/31

It is an autobiographical narration of the life of a slave, who after freeing himself out of the claws of slavery became a great writer, social reformer and a leader. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave was written by this statesman to recount the inequities he experienced as a slave. In this memoir, Frederick Douglas describes, almost in vivid detail, how his life was as a slave with almost no identity and the struggles he confronted in the hands of white slave owners. The publication of his work did not only gain him the liberty of a freeman, but also awakened in other Negroes that there is more to life than being a slave.
The pain of not being able to trace a particular identity was illuminated by Frederick Douglas in the first chapter of his narrative as he explained that he did not have any verifiable information to know of his date of birth. Douglas stated how knowing nothing about his date of birth “was a source of unhappiness” (1) even at his young age. The critical mind of the young Douglas was apparent as he noted that while he and other black children cannot tell their age, the white youngsters could tell theirs. Frederick Douglas showed how he experienced inequality in this part of the narrative as he remarked “I could not tell why I ought to be deprived of the same privilege” (1). The reader can sense the pain by knowing that the author thinks it to be a privileged to know of the information about birth, but was abhorrently deprived from him.
He knew of his maternal lineage, but he never knew of his father as his mother died not giving the slightest information about him. While he heard of the speculation that his father was his master, to him, it is of little or no consequence. The law specifically recognized that children of slave women shall follow in the slave status of their mother. He then has to grow as a slave and often witnessed how his fellow slaves suffer from inhumane treatment from slave owners.
His determination to educate himself through self-study occurred when his master, Mr Auld admonished his wife for teaching the young Douglas to read. He thought that becoming literate can possibly help him get out of slavery, and he became determined to learn more (29). The task ahead to freedom, however, proved to be tough. He was not allowed to get hold of a book but he managed to learn by himself by sneaking to read and making sure to take some lessons as much as he could. Reading has opened in him the view of his and other slave’s condition, but it tormented him that he has no way to get out of such condition. “It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy” (35).
The reader felts justice when Douglas narrated how he fought with Covey, a man known for being a “slave breaker”. After being treated lowly, Douglas found the courage to fight back and his triumph over Covey made him vow never to suffer any whipping again (63). As narrated by Douglas, “It recalled the departed self-confidence, and inspired me gain with determination to be free” 63).
He was transferred from one master to another, but Douglas never stopped to learning. He imparted his knowledge to other slaves knowing that education is the only means by which they can be freed. As he made his escape to freedom, and gaining it in the process, he continued to reach out to the other slaves. He started a family and worked as a free man. He, however, cannot leave the cause of anti-slavery to just phase off. As an excellent orator and writer, he joined anti-slavery conventions engaging in “pleading the cause of his brethren” (100).

References

Frederick Douglas. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 31) Example Of The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas Essay. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-the-narrative-of-the-life-of-frederick-douglas-essay/
"Example Of The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas Essay." WePapers, 31 Dec. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-the-narrative-of-the-life-of-frederick-douglas-essay/. Accessed 14 July 2024.
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"Example Of The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas Essay." WePapers, Dec 31, 2020. Accessed July 14, 2024. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-the-narrative-of-the-life-of-frederick-douglas-essay/
WePapers. 2020. "Example Of The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas Essay." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved July 14, 2024. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-the-narrative-of-the-life-of-frederick-douglas-essay/).
"Example Of The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas Essay," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 31-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-the-narrative-of-the-life-of-frederick-douglas-essay/. [Accessed: 14-Jul-2024].
Example Of The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas Essay. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-the-narrative-of-the-life-of-frederick-douglas-essay/. Published Dec 31, 2020. Accessed July 14, 2024.
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