Southern slaveowners claimed that they were upholding their Christian duty by engaging in slavery, rescuing slaves from a life of struggle and faithlessness. Douglass dispels this myth by exposing the many flaws of Mr. Covey’s morality, shocking northern Christians with his Christian hypocrisy and faulty character. Douglass introduces Mr. Covey as a “nigger-breaker,” denouncing his ability for human emotion and sympathy(79). Douglass evokes a sense of ethics and judgement in his Northern audience as he questions the authenticity of Mr. Covey’s faith: “I do verily believe that he sometimes deceived himself into the solemn belief that he was a sincere worshipper of the most high God” (82).
Frederick Douglass A former slave, and a distinguished human rights leader, Frederick Douglass documents his experiences in bondage in his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Douglass exposes the horrors and injustices of slavery while expressing his sentiments of the idea of American slavery and the hypocrisy of slave owners. The autobiography ultimately inspired and influenced abolitionists, creating a revolution in the North. Despite accusations of inaccuracy, Douglass effectively disproves the mythology of slavery through his vivid and poignant accounts as a slave himself. Frederick Douglass refutes the mythology of slavery by rebuking its romantic image.
Published by the Anti Slavery Committee, it was definitely biased against the slave holder but Douglass seemed to write fairly of his experiences especially since he was able to relate both good and bad experiences with his slave owners. Douglass’ words sum it up the best, "You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man." (107) Work Cited Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003.
It created an awakening for slaves since he was one of the first slaves that wrote a biography of his life even though slaves were expected to be uneducated. It showed cased slavery as evil and immoral and more people began to support the abolitionist movement. Thus caused conflict between the south and the north because many whites had different opinions and beliefs about slavery. Since they claimed slavery was a good thing because slaves were given a place to live and a place
One way was to have his face on the cover and his signature under it. This proved that he was literate. Probably the most corroborating proof was that Douglass used r... ... middle of paper ... ...l eye, under the influence of slavery, eventually became red with rage; that voice, made all of sweet accord, changed to one of harsh and horrid discord; and that angelic face gave place to that of a demon" (31). The stories in the Narrative were very sad and thus may have helped the abolitionist cause. Many people initially believed the stories to be bogus but that myth quickly went away.
Although seen as a simple autobiography of his life, the text goes deeper with components that would ultimately affect the northern audience's view on southern slaveholders. Targeting the Northern audience was crucial because they were the only group he could persuade enough to change the way things were. Douglass used his life story as a propaganda device to promote and drive the abolition movement among northerners. Before Douglass begins his life story , the preface written by Wm. Lloyd Garrison, prepares the reader for the abolitionist message that is really behind Douglass's Narrative.
This meant that these bastard children were slaves despite their paternal heritage because their mother was a slave. The effect of this revelation was to shock and offend the morals of the conservative northern whites. Northern society scorned people in adulterous and interracial relationships. By portraying these Southerners as immoral and adulterous, Douglass wanted to cultivate in his audience a damaging opinion of southern slaveholders (Quarles ix). Continuing with the theme o... ... middle of paper ... ...streated and punished their slaves, and how they used religion as an excuse to legitimize their immoral actions.
In the narrative Douglass shows us how slave owners and their sympathizers described blacks in terms of negative stereotypes to justify treating them as property. These stereotypes provided the foundation for the mythology of the plantation. Slave owners liked to think of themselves as the masters and even father-figures of a class of inferior, childlike people who could not survi... ... middle of paper ... ...her former slaves struggled hard to reclaim the right to define his own identity. To name himself was a huge accomplishment, carrying with it the right to tell his own story. Therefore, by him establishing his own identity on his own terms he catapulted his career as an abolitionist and his own claim to freedom.
Douglass then realized the power of an education: "I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty–to wit, the white man's power to enslave the black man... I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom" (Douglass 34). While Douglass struggled with his placement in life, others abused theirs. Henry Thoreau makes notice of the lax and lethargic behavior of t... ... middle of paper ... ...t "on the errands of humanity" (Thoreau 2052); thus, these are the men who passed the Fugitive Slave Act, these are the men who own men as chattel; and these are the men who have succumbed to the barbarity of slavery. But Douglass and Thoreau are the men who fought slavery with all of their being.
Freedom is the American ideal. In Frederick Douglass’s autobiography, the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, he questions the morality and righteousness of slavery. Douglass, a former slave, is convinced that slavery is immoral and unjust. However, the world that surrounds Douglass disagrees vehemently. In an effort to instigate change and improve the lives of millions, Douglass interrogates the moral conscience of his readers, primarily consisting of Protestant, white, undecided Northerners, by forcing them to question freedom and if slavery fits with the vision of the Founding Fathers.