Frederick Douglass Autobiography

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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. Frederick Douglass has three autobiographies, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave”, “My Bondage and My Freedom”, and “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass”. Narrative is what James Olney calls “the greatest of slave narratives” (Wilfred par. 1). The first part of Narrative is mainly about his early life as a slave in Tuckahoe, Maryland. He was possibly born February 1818 but this is only speculation as slave’s owner didn’t take records of slave births. Even at an early time in his life he became painfully aware of his status as a slave due the vicious treatment his aunt received. Douglass writes “They would sometimes sing the most pathetic sentiment in the most rapturous tone and the most rapturous sentiment in the most pathetic tone" (Douglass 31). Douglass recounts that his slave masters defile, whip, and control blacks through physical pain and fear. One of Douglass’ owners, Colonel Lloyd, makes an example of Demby, a slave, because he runs away and refuses to come back, so he kills him. This shows the deep rotted fear of slave owner of their slaves repelling against them.... ... middle of paper ... ... was only with him for less than year and his father is his slave master. Slave master often had sex with their female slaves and do not recognize the child as their own. Even though the slaveholders were mostly Christian they were not morally compassionate, believing that slavery has a natural part in society. The sole idea that kept slaves spirit from dying is knowing that when they die that they will be free from all earthly oppression and evils. Frederick Douglass autobiography has given many Americans a first-person picture of the American slave system. African American has Frederick Douglass to thank for his tremendous effort to help abolish slavery in America. Although the fight for equality was not over after the slavery ended, African Americans would not have gotten to that point without the abundant work of Frederick Douglass, an American slave.
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