Janelle Ferguson April 20, 2014 Dr. Marotta HUMA 202.011 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 was a slave and well known reformer during the mid to late eighteen hundreds. In addition to his abolitionist causes, he is also known for his writing, which includes several autobiographies as well as his support for women’s rights. His autobiography titled the “Narrative of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave” centers around his life as a former slave from his birth through his escape from slavery later on. During this time, the publication focuses on the way he was treated by slaveholders and their wives, good and bad, and the thoughts that he had about slavery and the effects that it has on African American’s as well as whites. His purpose for writing the autobiography was to appeal to everyone including slaves, women and slaveholders, and to show what slaves go through. The publication however, was mostly directed toward white middle class citizens that were possibly well educated, intelligent and somewhat wealthy. Frederick Douglass utilized his own education and his ability to read and write, especially with the use of his language and grammar, to leave his mark on society.
The Narrative of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass is written to have people place their feet in the shoes of Frederick Douglass and try to understand the experience he went through as a slave. Douglass writes this piece of literature with strong wording to get his point across. He is not trying to point out the unpleasant parts of history, but to make people face the truth. He wants readers to realize that slavery is brutalizing and dehumanizing, that a slave is able to become a man, and that some slaves, like himself, have intellectual ability. These points are commonly presented through the words of Douglass because of his diction.
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.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass written by Frederick Douglass himself is a brutally honest portrayal of slavery's dehumanizing capabilities. The style of this famous autobiography can be best described as personal, emotional, and compelling. By writing this narrative, Douglass wants his audience to understand him. He does this by speaking informally like a person would when writing a letter or telling a story to a friend. By clearly establishing his credibility and connecting with his audience, Douglass uses numerous rhetorical devices to argue for the immorality of slavery.
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.
In 1845, when the start of America was in effect, Fredrick Douglass wrote an autobiography called, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass’s was an abolitionist and his impact upon the antislavery movement in America remains his crowning achievement. Although he wasn't a leader of some violent rebellion, his literature and renowned public speaking helped solidify his accomplishments towards the abolition of slavery. Fredrick Douglass was so prominent in the 19th century that he advised the current president at the time, Abraham Lincoln, to let former slaves fight for the North, during the Civil War. His suggestion to let former slaves fight was granted all because Douglass´s astounding figure head in the battle against slavery. Through the writings in his narrative he engraves to the readers about his personal struggles and thoughts about slavery. In addition to his confrontation about slavery, he uses his life stories in the Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass to truly capture the emotion of how bad slaves were treated. Douglass uses key arguments throughout his narrative to effectively confine that slavery was inhumane and cruel.
In 1619 the first African slaves stepped foot on North American soil, they were called “20 and Odd “. This would cause a revolution and uproar for 300 hundred years to come. This pandemonium was called slavery; slavery is thought to be the brutal, harsh and controlling punishment for any persons that were of the African descent. Some believed that slavery was justifiable because it seemed to be supported by passages in the Bible. While blacks were not thought to be the only ones being controlled and abused physically, they were proven to have been treated the worse. In the diary, titled “Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass” the author born as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey described life while being a slave, and after he had escaped
In sum, all of these key arguments exist in “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” because of the institution of slavery and its resulting lack of freedom that was used to defend it. This text’s arguments could all be gathered together under the common element of inequality and how it affected the practical, social, and even spiritual lives of the slaves.
In conclusion, Frederick Douglass starts his life as a slave determined to get his freedom. At the end of his life, he is one of the foremost figures of the abolitionist movement. Douglass' narrative takes advantage of the literal advantage in order to abolish slavery. Through depictions of dehumanization and freedom, Frederick Douglass' narrative is instrumental in swaying the views of the indifferent Northern residents.