Frederick Douglass was a noted writer, abolitionist, orator, and former slave; in fact, his oratory ability was so good that there were those who were among the most ardent opponents of slavery who could not believe that he had been a slave. His best known work is Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, a book of eleven chapters and an appendix. The purpose of the book was to provide a well-written account of a slave’s life for northern readers who might not yet be convinced of the abolitionist cause. Thus, the book was both a memoir and a polemic against the institution of slavery.
Many facts about slavery are made clear in the Narrative. For example, Douglass has few recollections of his mother and thinks that his father is a white man (quite probably his owner). Douglass establishes that the slave’s life is being the recipient of much cruelty and slaves are kept in the condition they are solely by constant fear. It is in chapter five that he describes the slave’s diet and the eating arrangements, which provided readers with a horrific account of the feeding habits of slave owners. Later, Douglass discusses his relocation to Baltimore with Captain Auld, which proves to be more important than might at first be thought, because Douglass believes that had he stayed on Colonel Lloyd’s plantation, he would have forever been a slave (Douglass, p. 30-31).
Douglass describes removing the accumulated dead skin from his body and the joy of receiving his first pair of trousers (Douglass, p. 28). Douglass recounts how Sophia Auld, his new mistress, was kind to him and how “the crouching servility, usually so acceptable a qualit...
... middle of paper ...
...ped up in self-interest and their material welfare and they are just not interested in hearing about global warming, the warlords of Africa or the civil unrest elsewhere, at least as long as this doesn’t affect them; this was just as true in Douglass 's age, and the impact of this greatly shaped Douglass.
At its core, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, was both a memoir and a polemic against the institution of slavery. It outlined the horrors of slavery, and provided many insights into the institution of slavery. Because of this, Douglass was able to place himself as one of the foremost authorities on slavery, and used this platform as a way to make change in the United States. Douglass was a great speaker, a great leader, and a great American, and it is because of these qualities that Douglass shaped America in such an impactful way.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
Social and Legal Definitions of Slavery Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave
- Mr. Covey seemed now to think he had me, and could do what he pleased; but at this moment -- from whence came the spirit I don't know -- I resolved to fight; and, suiting my action to the resolution, I seized Covey hard by the throat; and as I did so, I rose. (Douglass 112, chapt. 10) In Chapter 10 of Frederick Douglass' Narrative of the Life of... an American Slave, Douglass describes an important incident in which he forces backward the standard master-slave hierarchy of beating privileges against his temporary master, Mr.... [tags: Narrative Frederick Douglass Slave Essays]
3959 words (11.3 pages)
- The institution of slavery had no remorse for the men, women, and children that were exploited in order to uphold the financial stability of the South. It thrived on the ability to break the backs of enslaved people to maintain control but the brutal conditions affected more than physical well being. The brutality on slavery transcended into all aspects of life for those who were enslaved and its effects can be seen throughout all aspects of their personhood. The cruel institution of slavery sought to rip all threads of identity from the enslaved class and create a population that could be dominated by White supremacy.... [tags: Slavery, Slavery in the United States]
1675 words (4.8 pages)
- The work Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave by Frederick Douglass is one of the most premium, well known slave narratives of that time period, as well as of all time. The autobiography includes his early life to his time during his successful escape from slavery when he was around the age of twenty. The narrative places emphases on influential experiences that stick out in his life for the sole purpose of making the reader understand of the brutality that slavery was, and to show his capability to tolerate and surpass such circumstances with his mortality still intact.... [tags: Slavery in the United States, Slavery]
1384 words (4 pages)
- America in the mid to early nineteenth century saw the torture of many African Americans in slavery. Plantation owners did not care whether they were young or old, girl or boy, to them all slaves were there to work. One slave in particular, Frederick Douglass, documented his journey through slavery in his autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Through the use of various rhetorical devices and strategies, Douglass conveys the dehumanizing and corrupting effect of slavery, in order to show the overall need for American abolition.... [tags: Slavery in the United States, Slavery]
1348 words (3.9 pages)
- There are a number of key arguments in “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”. A few of which include inequality, education, and Christianity as the keys to freedom in terms of its true values within the institution of slavery. While Frederick Douglass made some key arguments, he also made common ground to make his appeal for the abolition of slavery. One of the key arguments in “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” as well as in other narratives about slaves is inequality.... [tags: African-American Literature]
1143 words (3.3 pages)
- Frederick Douglass's Propaganda Behind the Narrative Frederick Douglass, a firm believer in equality, was one of the most influential leaders of the abolitionist movement in America. An ex-slave, Douglass pushed for abolition and brought attention to the subject through his commanding speeches and his powerful writings. Among his writings Douglass published his autobiography "Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" , which is indeed one of his more famous pieces of work.... [tags: Biography]
2548 words (7.3 pages)
- Frederick Douglass's Disguised Message Frederick Douglass, a firm believer in equality, was one of the most influential leaders of the abolitionist movement in America. An ex-slave, Douglass pushed for abolition and brought attention to the subject through his commanding speeches and his powerful writings. Among his writings Douglass published his autobiography "Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" , which is indeed one of his more famous pieces of work. Douglass uses his own life and personal experiences to describe what life was like for a slave at the time.... [tags: Biography]
2340 words (6.7 pages)
- The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave was written by Frederick Douglass himself. He was born into slavery in Tuckahoe, Maryland in approximately 1817. He has, "…no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it" (47). He became known as an eloquent speaker for the cause of the abolitionists. Having himself been kept as a slave until he escaped from Maryland in 1838, he was able to deliver very impassioned speeches about the role of the slave holders and the slaves.... [tags: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass]
1251 words (3.6 pages)
- 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]
1137 words (3.2 pages)
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave: A Masterpiece of Propaganda When was the last time you were exposed to propaganda. If you think it was more than a day ago, you are probably unaware of what propaganda really is. According to Donna Woolfolk Cross in “Propaganda: How not to be Bamboozled,” propaganda is “simply a means of persuasion” (149). She further notes that we are subjected daily to propaganda in one form or another as advertisers, politicians, and even our friends attempt to persuade us to use their product, vote for them, or adopt their point of view.... [tags: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass]
2088 words (6 pages)
- Should Marijuana Be Legal?
- The World Of Computer Technology And Mass Information
- I Never Had It Made Let Me Know The Man Behind His Superstar Baseball Career And Beyond
- My Experience During The Summer 2016 English 126 Class
- The First Australian Professional Teaching Standard
- Australi A Multicultural Society