April 20, 2014
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave
After the novel, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass soon became acknowledged for being an incredible abolitionist. In his novel, he expresses his theory on the most unfortunate era for all of African Americans in America, known as slavery, and utilize his life experiences to benefit the demolishing of slavery practices. By doing this, he is able to clearly express his oppressive viewpoints and how it is paralleled into the issues leading towards Christianity or religion, education, and white development.
Frederick Douglass presents an astonishing representation of the issues towards Christianity and religion.
Frederick Douglass's "Fourth of July" Speech is the most famous speech delivered by the abolitionist and civil rights advocate Frederick Douglass. It attracted a crowd of between five hundred and six hundred. Douglass’s speech to the slaves on the Fourth of July served to show the slaves that there is nothing for them to celebrate. They were not free and the independence that the rest of the country celebrated did not apply to them.
This excellent biography fluently tells the life story of Douglass; one of the 19th centuries's most famous writers and speakers on abolitionist and human rights causes. It traces his life from his birth as a slave in Maryland, through his self-education, escape to freedom, and subsequent lionization as a renowned orator in England and the United States. Fascinating, too, are accounts of the era's politics, such as the racist views held by some abolitionist leaders and the ways in which many policies made in post-Civil War times have worked to the detriment of today's civil rights movement. The chapter on Frederick Douglass and John Brown is, in itself, interesting enough to commend this powerful biography. The seldom-seen photographs, the careful chapter notes, documentation, and acknowledgements will encourage anybody to keep on learning about Frederick Douglass.
n Frederick Douglass’ What to the Slave is the 4th of July, he presents a simple yet morally complex argument. In his letter, Douglass states that it is hypocritical for a country to celebrate its freedom and separation from another country, yet still have slavery alive and well in the United States. Morally, this issue is a pretty straightforward argument and the very definition of hypocritical. Douglass also touches upon his belief that all men and women are equal, as stated in the constitution, yet slaves are subhuman. Another topic touched on is the contributing factors that perpetuate the constant and unjust nature of how slaves are treated, such as religion, agricultural, and over all demeanor towards slaves.
The effectiveness and excellent structure of Frederick Douglass’ Fourth of July speech is apparent. His rhetorical arguments served as powerful rebuts to opposing contentions and forced his audience to consider the undeniable error in their nation’s policy and approach regarding slavery. Douglass also compelled his audience to take his words seriously by establishing his credibility, recognizing his audience, and skillfully constructing and executing his speech. The end product of his efforts became a provocative speech at the time and a historical delivery in the future. Douglass succeeded in giving a speech that clearly and effectively argued the absurdity of the institution of slavery in America, leaving it up to his audience to consider his position and decide for themselves how to act in the future.
The idea of Americanism as viewed by Frederick Douglass comes in two variations. The first being the Americans who’s fathers fought for unalienable rights given to each man, Americans who love liberty, welcome refugees from around the world with open arms, the purest of Christians following the word of God. The second type of American being the more truthful in the eyes of Douglass is the American whom sits idly on the accomplishments of these same fathers that fought tooth and nail against the British for freedom. When the opportunity to create massive change and liberation for slavery and the rights of women, to stand by these unalienable rights that are supposedly extended to each man, the argument falls upon deaf ears. The liberties that Americans so gleefully claim are nothing but a sham, hiding behind Christianity and riding along the coattails of their fathers hard fought change for such liberties. Frederick Douglass criticizes what it means to be an American and argues that the liberties promised within the constitution should be extended beyond the wealthy oppressors; the freedom to be ones own should be extended to all citizens of the United States. The time to make change is now while America is still young and in its development. In order for Americanism to reflect the ideology in which many of its citizens blindly view it as, Frederick argues that the government and its citizens must stop hiding behind their inconsistent politics, fake Christianity, and to not shrink away at the site of change in order to bring about truth to the words that their founders fought so hard to ink to paper providing equal freedom to all citizens.
The concept of the Other is dominant in Frederick Douglass’s text “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”, for it determines the main conflict and illuminates the issue of intolerance and even blasphemy regarding the attitude of white Americans towards Negroes. The text was written as a speech to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and delivered at Rochester’s Corinthian Hall on July 5, 1852. It was a remarkable articulation of the Black people voice living in the United States of America at that point of time because Black people were going through too much humiliation on physical and moral levels (Andrews, 1991, p.46).
Frederick Douglass’ autobiography, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave” reveals the immorality and lack of human dignity of slavery. His writings give the reader an in-depth look at the animal-like treatment the slaves received. He revealed that not just the victims of slavery but also the people who have to participate in it. Not many slaves got to tell their stories of the horrors of slavery in America. Frederick Douglass’ brilliant and insightful writings put many 19th century Americans in perspective but also become the voice of African Americans against the greatest injustice in America.
Narrative on Frederick Douglass
Slavery was perhaps one of the most appalling tragedies in the history of The United States of America. To tell the people of the terrible facts, runaway slaves wrote their accounts of slavery down on paper and published it for the nation to read. Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs were just two of the many slaves who did this. Each of the slaves had different experiences with slavery, but they all had one thing in common: they tell of the abominable institution of slavery and how greatly it affected their lives. When Douglass was seven years old, he was sent to a new master and mistress, Hugh and Sophia Auld.
Frederick Douglass was born in Maryland in 1818 as a slave to a maritime captain, Captain Anthony. After decades of enslavement, Frederick Douglass escaped to the North and became one of the prominent members and drivers of the abolitionist movement. In an effort to provide an eye-opening account of the harsh treatment of slaves, Douglass wrote Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. In his autobiography, Frederick Douglass detailed his life beginning from his meager early years through his escape to the North. In writing his autobiography, Douglass utilized a variety of techniques including the use of the three rhetorical strategies: Ethos, Pathos and Logos to create a powerful and influential argument against the institution of slavery in America.