Frederick Douglass Narrative Essay

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An Examination of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave 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.…show more content…
Douglass made friends of the white boys, knowing that their hearts had not yet hardened, and make all of them into his teachers. During this time, he noticed that when he told them that he was a slave for life, they were sympathetic to him (Douglass, 1845 39). It is not long after that when Douglass first uses the word abolition. In the sense that the slaveholders regarded any act of self-initiative on the part of a slave as being “the fruit of abolition” Douglass, p.41). Abolition, albeit in a negative sense, was a popular topic of conversation in Baltimore, and eventually it occurs to Douglass that “abolition” in this case refers to the abolition of slavery and it is soon after this self-revelation that he decides to run away. It is during one of his many relocations that he realizes that the ship is sailing in a north easterly direction and he deems this important as he resolves to run way as so as circumstances permit (Douglass, p.…show more content…
What set him apart from other observers was his sense of observation, noted in the case of Sophia Auld, whom slavery transforms from a kindly person into a hard hearted woman, all because of slavery. Douglass never makes the claim that white people are evil and African-Americans are good, but that the institution of slavery is evil because it changes people – all people- and always for the worse, it seems. This is how Douglass addressed his white readers, as if to say that slavery is just as bad for you as it is for me, it’s just a question of who is giving and who is receiving the degrading and dehumanizing
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