Essay on The Narrative Of Frederick Douglass

Essay on The Narrative Of Frederick Douglass

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In the narrative, Frederick Douglass introduced us to many different characters. The ones in particular that would be discussed in the following paragraphs are Sandy Jenkins and Edward Covey. These two characters are very different from each other but share the same importance to the growth of Douglass. Jenkins was a slave just as he was but the only thing different between him and Douglass was that he was a superstitious man. He had seemed to be a little closer to being a traditional slave than Douglass. On the other hand, Covey was a religious prude. He took advantage of the biblical word made it his law. Between these two characters, Douglass had his "roots" on one side and the "law" on the other gnawing at him and his only relief would be knowledge.
When Douglass came across Jenkins, he was covered in blood and in distress. However, Jenkins welcomed Douglass into his home without hesitation: "...I told him my circumstances, and he very kindly invited me to go home with him. I went home with him, and talked this whole matter over, and got his advice as to what course it was best for me to pursue. I found Sandy an old advisor" ( 41) Since Douglass did not have a father-figure in his life, it was very easy for him to be attached to Jenkins. Here is a complete stranger taking a child that is not his own and nurturing him. Douglass, for the first time, was being exposed to kindness from a man and he felt the need to trust him. Jenkins also showed that he still had strong beliefs in the old ways of the motherland. "He told me, with great solemnity, I must go back to Covey; but that before I went, I must go with him into another part of the woods, where there was a certain ~root,~ ... He said he carried it for years; and since he ha...


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...to the heaven of freedom" (42) This is an ironic reference to the resurrection of Christ. He also went further to say he was freed mentally and was determined to be free in body.
Ultimately, Douglass along with Jenkins and Covey created a virtual triangle where each is important in their own way in order for justice to prevail. Without Jenkins ' advice, Douglass probably would not have stood up to Covey in that manner and, if he did not have that encounter with Covey , he would not have known he had that much courage within him-all he needed was a push. He was able to have the perseverance and determination to read and write and help his fellow slaves just as Jenkins helped him once. In doing so, he was able to go beyond the expectations of many and fulfill his purpose which was to free minds of ignorance and open doors to opportunities where a slave becomes a man.

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