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The Life of Federic Douglas

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Frederick Douglass wasn’t born the prolific abolitionist that he is known as today. Douglass observed and faced experiences that helped shape and form the resolve he had to escape and try to end slavery. Frightening and sadistic scenes such as the whipping of Aunt Hester was what opened Douglass’s young eyes to slavery, eyes that where then innocent to the atrocities of slavery. Since realizing the actuality of his predicament Douglass achieved the mental and physical liberty that would help transform the slave Frederick Bailey into the Frederick Douglass the man. As shown in Douglass autobiography Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass gained first his mental freedom through education, a door opened to him by his learning to read. His physical freedom would not be as easy to reclaim, as seen in his rebellious fight against Covey. Instances like these are what empowered Douglass to gain his freedom and fight to end slavery.

Throughout Douglass’s initial years of slavery, he was “out of the way of the bloody scenes that often occurred on the plantation.” (Douglass, 20) Captain Anthony’s whipping of Aunt Hester made the brutality of slavery crystal clear to the young Douglass. Being the first time Douglass ever witnessed such brutality, the whipping of Aunt Hester was a major and horrific moment for Douglass;

Douglass will ultimately experience many more of these awful crimes to humanity, but this first experience changed his entire view of the world. If he didn’t fear his slave master’s before, then he certainly did at this point. Life for him wouldn’t be happy and free, but cruel and harsh, much like the beating of Aunt Hester. Clearly slavery was already real at that time in the 19th century, but this is the m...

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...imore and her free status strengthened Douglass’s belief in the possibility of gaining his own freedom. Frederick gained his freedom by boarding a train dressed as a sailor. The uniform was provided by Murray along with a portion of her savings to pay for the trip expenses. His freedom was marked by his arrival in New York and the entire trip took around 24 hours. Once Douglass arrived he sent for Murray. Murray played a crucial role in helping Douglass gain his freedom.

Douglass’s narrative shines a glaring light on slavery through the eyes of slaves themselves. The story of Douglass’s life as a slave and his growth into the man that he ultimately became is nothing short of awe inspiring. The way Covey tried to break Douglass only strengthened him in the end. The abolitionist movement, no, the world would not be the same, had Frederick Douglass not been born.
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