Frederick Douglass

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In Frederick Douglass' autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, he writes about the inhumanity and brutality of slavery, with the intention of informing white, American colonists. Douglass is thought to be one of the greatest leaders of the abolition, which radically and dramatically changed the American way of life, thus revolutionizing America. Douglass changed America, and accomplished this through writing simply and to the point about the "reality" of slavery, told through the point of view of a slave. In a preface of Douglass' autobiography, William Lloyd Garrison writes, "I am confident that it is essentially true in all its statements; that nothing has been set down in malice, nothing exaggerated, nothing drawn from the imagination; that it comes short of reality, rather than overstates a single fact in regard to slavery as it is" (Douglass, 6). This statement authenticates and guarantees Douglass' words being nothing but the truth.

Douglass' enslaved life was not an accurate representation of the common and assumed life of a slave. He, actually, often wished that he was not so different and had the same painful, but simpler ignorance that the other slaves had. It was his difference, his striving to learn and be free that made his life so complicated and made him struggle so indefinitely. Douglass expresses this in writing, "I envied my fellow-slaves for their stupidity. I have often wished myself a beast…It was this everlasting thinking of my condition that tormented me" (Douglass, 53). In his narrative, Douglass does generalize to relate his experience to that of other slaves, creating a parallel between his life and the life of any other slave. He writes about the brutality, physi...

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...edge. In his narrative, Douglass layers the many brutal, cruel, inhumane, and true components of slavery in his life, underlying each story with a political motive and relation. This method of writing was for his audience removed from slavery, those ignorant of slavery, uninformed, misunderstood, and those who were fortunate to have freedom. Douglass illustrates living conditions, experiences, tragedies, and struggles to great depths. Everywhere, African Americans escaped the binds of slavery due to Frederick Douglass' determination. He revolutionized America, being one of the greatest leaders of the abolition, being the reason for so many freed lives, and leading to the complete abolition and illegality of slavery in America.

Works Cited

Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave.

Boston: The Anti-Slavery Office, 1845.

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