Essay on An American Slave by Frederick Douglas

Essay on An American Slave by Frederick Douglas

Length: 1704 words (4.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

What do you think of; when you hear the word slave? According to Merriam-Webster a slave is someone who “is completely subservient to a dominating influence”. Two of the most known African Americans, who were born slaves and helped others of their race become free, were Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. Using different tactics they helped many people become free from slavery. This paper will demonstrate Fredrick Douglass’s narrative ‘An American Slave’, which will expose his crucial role in the abolition of slavery, how Douglass overcame slavery, and took control of his own life. Douglass’s tactics for helping slaves will then be compared to Harriet Tubman, one of the most famous Underground Railroad conductors.
When people hear about the Underground Railroad for the first time they perceive the picture that it’s a railroad that is literally underground, but that isn’t the case with the Underground Railroad. This railroad was not underground or even a railroad. The name was derived from the activities being conducted in secret, and “using darkness or disguise” (history.com). This was the means of African Americans escapes; if they would have been caught they would get a harsh punishment, that punishment could consist of being “sold to someone who lived much further south than Maryland, where it would be harder to run away because the distance to the North was so much greater” (thinkport.org). Other punishments for slaves when they escape were that they would get “beaten and forced to do exceptionally hard work”. One of the most famous known conductors of the Underground Railroad is Harriet Tubman.
Harriet Tubman was born in 1820, in Dorchester County, Maryland. She was born into slavery, and was raised under very harsh cond...


... middle of paper ...


...ork History Net. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. .
"Tubman: Conductor of the Underground Railroad." America's Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. .
"Tubman: Conductor of the Underground Railroad." America's Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. .
"Underground Railroad." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. .
"What happened if a slave was caught while he or she was trying to escape?." Pathways to Freedom | About the Underground Railroad. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2014. .
"Slave." Merriam-Webster. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Feb. 2014. .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

“Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave” Essay

- The narrative essay of the “Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave” describes personal accounts Paul experienced as a slave. Cruel and unjust treatment done to him by his masters gave him to a strong desire to learn how to read and write in any possible way by being resourceful and be determined to learn. However, Douglas expressed “I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather a blessing” and “I envied my fellow slaves for their stupidity” (4); wherein he regrets learning and he also illustrated why he considered knowledge as a curse because he learned about freedom did not benefit him at all....   [tags: Literature Review]

Powerful Essays
812 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas An American Slave

- Life lessons are learned daily. Therefore, the theme of my dinner party is going to revolve around life lessons. I am inviting William Wordsworth, Frederick Douglas, Henrik Ibsen, and Lord Tennyson. William Wordsworth writes on what none of us want to hear. We all have flaws in our religious walks, but they so often go ignored. “He turned the readers’ attention away from classical models and Gothic supernatural stories to everyday emotion and imagination, championing the spontaneity of authentic feelings.” (Puchner et al....   [tags: Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen, Incidental music]

Powerful Essays
1422 words (4.1 pages)

The Narrative in the Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave Essay

- Along with family and religion, education is one of the most important aspects in society. Fredrick Douglass realized the importance of a good education by learning to read and later becoming a writer, author and advocate of African Americans, women, and many others. In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, we learn the significance and importance of Douglass learning to read, the affect the institution of slavery had on both whites and blacks, and why learning to read threatened the institution of slavery in general....   [tags: African American history]

Powerful Essays
810 words (2.3 pages)

Frederick Douglass, an American Slave Essay

- The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, was the first of the three autobiographies that Frederick Douglass wrote himself. It’s a story about slavery and the meaning of freedom of the antebellum America. According to The Free Dictionary, Slavery is defined as the state or condition of being a slave; a civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune (freedictionary.com). Frederick Douglass’s book is about a bondage he obtained since birth; a slave for life....   [tags: Autobiography, Douglas]

Powerful Essays
1808 words (5.2 pages)

Analysis of Frederick Douglas' "Narrative of a Slave" Essay

- In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself, Frederick Douglass establishes for us the many factors that lead to the continual enslavement of the black race by connecting his own plight to that of other slaves as a plea for the abolition of slavery. The evil of slavery infected every master to pervert the truth to his own satisfaction and Douglass explains how slavery corrupts the humanity of both slave and master. The legal system was also not an option for slaves to turn to for help because they had no legal rights....   [tags: American Literature]

Powerful Essays
963 words (2.8 pages)

Freedom Of The Slave By Frederick Douglas Essay

- Freedom rider Frederick Douglass was a Social reformer and an abolitionist. He was a slave who stayed under his owner’s law. However, when he learned how to read and write Frederick Douglas opposition to slavery began to shape. To farther educate himself he read newspapers and did political writing and literature as much as possible. After he gained a lot of knowledge, an African American woman helped him escape from slavery. Throughout his life he was affiliated in civil rights movement. He helped other blacks escape from slavery and wrote many famous American literatures in the process....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, Slavery]

Powerful Essays
1490 words (4.3 pages)

Melville vs Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas Essay

- When inquiring about the comparisons and contrasts between Melville’s Benito Cereno and Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, Written by Himself, the following question almost inevitably arises: Can a work of fiction and an autobiography be compared at all. Indeed, the structure of the two stories differs greatly. Whereas Douglass’s Narrative adapts a typical pattern of autobiographies, i.e. a chronological order of birth, childhood memories, events that helped shape the narrator etc., Benito Cereno is based on a peculiar three-layered foundation of a central story recounting the main events, a deposition delineating the events prior to the first part, and an endi...   [tags: Life of an American Slave]

Powerful Essays
1154 words (3.3 pages)

Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas Essay

- Not many are aware of the horror that slavery in the United States was. Many only have knowledge of it from analyses or textbook readings, rarely ever having read firsthand accounts. These sources also generally only focus on the atrocities of slavery, then quickly shift to its abolishment, hardy ever elaborating on the change that came about to end the institution. Frederick Douglass’ autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, allows the reader to experience slave life through the eyes of Douglass....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, Frederick Douglass]

Powerful Essays
1246 words (3.6 pages)

Frederick Douglas Essay

- Paper on Frederick Douglass In the 1800's, slavery was a predominant issue in the United States, one that most Americans in the South dealt with daily. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass reveals much about American history during the time of slavery as well as expounds arguments for the abolition of slavery. As a historical document, it conveys information about the slave family, work, the master-slave relationship, and the treatment and living conditions of slaves. As an antislavery tract, it argues against commonly held beliefs about slavery's benefits and its morality, making strong points for getting rid of slavery....   [tags: Frederick Douglas report]

Powerful Essays
1607 words (4.6 pages)

Racism and the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

- Examining Prevalent Attitudes on Racism and the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave When we look at the issue of racism from a politically correct, nineties perspective, evidence of the oppression of black people may be obscured by the ways in which our society deals with the inequalities that still exist. There are no apparent laws that prohibit or limit opportunities for blacks in our society today, yet there is a sense that all things are not fair and equal. How can we acknowledge or just simply note how past ideologies are still perpetuated in our society today....   [tags: Narrative Life Frederick Douglass]

Powerful Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)