Equiano claims their treatment of slaves was not nearly as terrible compared to the slavery of the New World. Based on this insight, Africans were not new to the idea of slavery, but were shocked at how horribly different they were treated. Despite this insight, there is a limitation because Equiano wrote his autobiography as an older man, meaning that his childhood memories were not easily recollected. In addition, in chapter 2 Equiano was kidnapped and made his way to the coast and aboard a slave ship. Equiano felt astonished and scared in the new situation he was in with the strange men.
Slave narratives were one of the first forms of African- American literature. The narratives were written with the intent to inform those who weren’t aware of the hardships of slavery about how badly slaves were being treated. The people who wrote these narratives experienced slavery first hand, and wanted to elicit the help of abolitionists to bring an end to it. Most slave narratives were not widely publicized and often got overlooked as the years went by; however, some were highly regarded and paved the way for many writers of African descent today. Two slave narratives that are noticed today are “ The Narrative Of Frederick Douglass” written by Douglass himself, and “ The Incidents in the life of a Slave Girl” written by Harriet Jacobs.
By viewing the title page and reading the words “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, written by himself” the reader sees the advancement Douglass made from a dependent slave to an independent author (Stone 134). As a slave, he was forbidden a voice with which he might speak out against slavery. Furthermore, the traditional roles of slavery would have had him uneducated—unable to read and incapable of writing. However, by examining the full meaning of the title page, the reader is introduced to Douglass’s refusal to adhere to the slave role of uneducated and voiceless. Thus, even before reading the work, the reader knows that Douglass will show “how a slave was made a man” through “speaking out—the symbolic act of self-definition” (Stone 135).
Frederick Douglass wrote his autobiography to provide a look into the world of a slave. His audience varied, from abolitionists, to whites that were on the fence about the issue, but his purpose remained: to allow non-slaves to learn about the horrors of slavery. In this autobiography, Douglass dispelled readers’ “illusions about slavery” by merely telling his true story, an everyman tale for slaves. Douglass worked on plantations in the Maryland area, and those plantations were considered to be easier than those of Georgia or Alabama, as unruly or ornery slaves were “sold to a Georgia [slave] trader” as punishment (54). Douglass may very well have been one of the better-treated slaves of his era, and in revealing the horrors of his relatively good circumstances, he underscores the overall mistreatment of slaves.
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery and is brought up knowing very little about what separates him from the rest. This however does not keep him from his desire to be different from everyone around him. Early on he develops an idea that of “Positive Liberty,” which means one that can control his own destiny. Freedom is seen as positive because it offers a lot less restrains than what he was currently receiving from living on Anthony’s plantation. Anthony the plantation owner was most likely his father as it is often that the masters raped their slaves to produce more.
Frederick Douglass: Evolution From 1800-1861 Frederick Douglass said, “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave”. Frederick Douglass could not be farther from the truth. Frederick Douglass was a slave, and he saw knowledge as a passage to freedom. Slavery was the primary cause of many events from 1800-1861. The issue was not slavery itself necessarily, but the different views and controversy towards it.
Obviously during the time period when slavery occurred, there were opposing opinions about the topic: majority of the South was proslavery and majority of the North was antislavery. Solomon Northup’s first person account provided insight into what truly happened in slavery and was able to uncover a piece of the larger story of America. Along with being personal, his story was also unique, as he was able to tell his story from both the perspective of a free man and of a slave. He was able to expose the true aspects of slavery through his themes of namelessness, inhumanity, struggle, distrust, defiance, and the desire for freedom. Northup also told the reader of his good and bad experiences throughout this time, so he or she really got a decent effect of what he went through.
African- Americans have a long and strenuous history in the United States. Even though today, our country seems for the most part, free of racial bias, this was not always the case. African- Americans were brought to this country to be sold and used as slaves. They endured horrible working conditions, and an even harder lifestyle that consisted of being treated like property instead of actual human beings. It was not until after the Civil War; the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1865, that African- Americans were legally freed of their duty to slavery.
The theme of self-reliance can be closely captured in the actual life of Douglass during his slavery. Although they use different supportive objects, the points made by Emerson on self-reliance can be related to the real life of Douglass during his slavery. The choices were very limited to Douglass for obtaining the required experience when he was held in captivity, which is described in Self-Reliance by Emerson. During the captivity of Frederik Douglass he was very limited with the experiences in his life and wa... ... middle of paper ... ...t to their audience. They both had resemblance and difference in various aspects of social and individual beliefs and style relating to that time.
The book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass can be interpreted in many ways. It is an autobiography that details Douglass’s experiences while he was enslaved. However, it is evident that he has been forced to censor the content of his narrative. Douglass mentions more than once that he is not able to say everything he desires. Moreover, on the surface the book is about the harshness of his life as a slave, but on a deeper level Douglass uses irony to give a compelling criticism of the institution of slavery.