Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas Essay

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas Essay

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Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass It is the narrative by Frederick Douglass that unveils the truly evil face of slavery. He writes of some of the most ghastly and inhuman practices and the total denial of justice to the slaves. In the track of his Narrative, he tells of two instances of lethal brutality, --in one of which a planter intentionally and consciously shot a slave belonging to an adjoining plantation, who had accidentally gotten inside his lordly domain in search of fish; and in the other, a supervisor blew out the brains of a slave who had escaped to a brook of water to get away from a bloody scourge. Mr. DOUGLASS affirms that in neither of these cases was any thing done by way of officially authorized arrest or legal inquiry. The idea is that it should never be forgotten, that no slaveholder or superintendent can be convicted of any offence committed on the person of a slave, no matter how tyrannical it may be, on the authentication of colored eyewitness, whether bond or free. By the slave convention, they are regarded as being as inept to testify in opposition to a white man, as though they were in reality a part of the beast or animal creation. Hence, there is no legal shelter in fact, whatever there may be in structure, for the slave population; and any amount of brutality may be imposed on them with impunity. This narrative brings forth questions like, is it likely for the human mind to imagine of a more ghastly and hideous state of society? I WAS born in Tuckahoe, near Hillsborough, and about twelve miles from Easton, in Talbot county, Maryland. I have no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it. By far the larger part of the slaves know as little of their ages ...


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...fairness he experience. 2 The hopelessness he faces at one point also makes the writer contemplate suicide. This clearly enough represents the mental anarchy many other slaves would have been victims of. Heinous practices have been described including severe beating of women slaves till they bled and whipping. In the conclusion, the book by Frederick Douglass seems apparently more reliable as he had been through first hand experience himself as a slave and had a lot of information to offer that revealed many practices whose tyranny only a slave who had seen them carried before his eyes could put in words. References Frederick Douglass; Unknown, 1995 Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass 1995 Michele A. Henkel; 2002, Forging identity through literary re-interpellation: the ideological project of Frederick Douglass's narrative literature and psychology, 2002

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