The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas Essay

The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas Essay

Length: 1082 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


Slavery was one of the most barbaric and inhumane practices in our world’s history. Although today we cannot imagine making someone work against their will and causing them much grief and suffering, slavery was rampant in the United States in the 19th century. Two men wrote about slavery during this time and one of them provides a firsthand account. In “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas,” a slave, Frederick Douglass, writes about how he moved from different masters and different cities, the people that he encountered, his methods and determination of learning to read and write, and how he eventually became a free man after surviving the horrors of slavery. He later learns about the history and true injustice of slavery as he educates himself using various strategies. By contrast, George Fitzhugh writes in “Cannibals All! Or, Slaves Without Masters” that slavery is not oppressive, but rather a means to protect African Americans. Being a supporter of slavery, he attempts to justify his opinion by discussing the economic implications of slavery. Fitzhugh was not a slave, and believes that slavery shielded slaves from the harshness of the capitalist economy of the United States. He was under the impression that the free market is a brutal place and that there was a “white slave trade” as opposed to the African American slave trade. In essence, Fitzhugh makes slavery seem not as bad as it is. Although Fitzhugh argues that the slaves did not have to face the oppressiveness of capitalism, Douglass believes that slavery was unjust and atrocious.
Fitzhugh believes that the slaves got off easy by being dependent on their masters, as any non-slave was forced to take care of themselves. Fitzhugh’s intende...


... middle of paper ...


...earns of the true nature of slavery. Douglass uses courage, determination, and perspicacity to learn how to read and write. Therefore, it was uncommon for someone to read writings from a slave’s point of view. On an intellectual perspective, Douglass became just as educated as his masters, if not more. He would tirelessly copy his master’s school books and use deception to achieve his goal. As he gains more knowledge, Douglass makes it his goal to escape to the North and become a free man. To ask Fitzhugh, why would someone who was “loved” by his masters want to escape and become depressed after learning the truth about slavery? People that downplayed slavery played a significant role in keeping slavery alive in the South. While laborers had to face some adversity, it is preposterous to suggest that the slaves were better off due to the brutal conditions of slavery.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas

- Slavery will continue to be the furthermost deplorable phenomena of this world. Beings crying for freedom and liberty from oppression is very unnatural and provokes a heartfelt of different emotions from many individuals. Some people do not comprehend the probability of one individual considering another human being as its slave, some are the children of those who used to be slaves years ago and some have challenged slavery in the contemporary times. Slavery is a notion in which a human being is converted into a “thing” as he/she becomes a prospect in the form of exploitation as they become the private property of the slave owner....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, Slavery]

Strong Essays
1574 words (4.5 pages)

The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas Essay

- Slavery was one of the most barbaric and inhumane practices in our world’s history. Although today we cannot imagine making someone work against their will and causing them much grief and suffering, slavery was rampant in the United States in the 19th century. Two men wrote about slavery during this time and one of them provides a firsthand account. In “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas,” a slave, Frederick Douglass, writes about how he moved from different masters and different cities, the people that he encountered, his methods and determination of learning to read and write, and how he eventually became a free man after surviving the horrors of slavery....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, Slavery]

Strong Essays
1082 words (3.1 pages)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas Essay

- 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....   [tags: Slavery, Discrimination]

Strong Essays
638 words (1.8 pages)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas Essay

- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas Frederick Douglas, a slave born in Tuckahoe Maryland, was half white and half black. His mother was a black woman and his father a white man. Though he never knew his father, there was word that it was his master. Douglas wrote this narrative and I felt that it was very compelling. It really showed me the trials and tribulations that a black man went through during times of slavery. In his early years, Douglas lived on a farm where he watched many slaves receive harsh beatings and whippings....   [tags: Slave Narratives]

Strong Essays
712 words (2 pages)

Essay about Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas An American Slave

- Life lessons are learned daily. Therefore, the theme of my dinner party is going to revolve around life lessons. I am inviting William Wordsworth, Frederick Douglas, Henrik Ibsen, and Lord Tennyson. William Wordsworth writes on what none of us want to hear. We all have flaws in our religious walks, but they so often go ignored. “He turned the readers’ attention away from classical models and Gothic supernatural stories to everyday emotion and imagination, championing the spontaneity of authentic feelings.” (Puchner et al....   [tags: Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen, Incidental music]

Strong Essays
1422 words (4.1 pages)

The Use of Chiasmus to Highlight the Irony of Slavery in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas

- The Use of Chiasmus to Highlight the Irony of Slavery in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass According to Barton and Hudson's Contemporary Guide to Literary Terms, a chiasmus is a rhetorical scheme that is "particularly effective in creating irony through the reversal of accepted truths or familiar ideas" (189). Frederick Douglass uses the chiasmus throughout his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave to highlight the irony of slavery's existence in a country that was built upon the ideals of freedom....   [tags: Narrative Life Frederick Douglass]

Strong Essays
1516 words (4.3 pages)

The Narrative in the Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave Essay

- Along with family and religion, education is one of the most important aspects in society. Fredrick Douglass realized the importance of a good education by learning to read and later becoming a writer, author and advocate of African Americans, women, and many others. In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, we learn the significance and importance of Douglass learning to read, the affect the institution of slavery had on both whites and blacks, and why learning to read threatened the institution of slavery in general....   [tags: African American history]

Strong Essays
810 words (2.3 pages)

Melville vs Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas Essay

- When inquiring about the comparisons and contrasts between Melville’s Benito Cereno and Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, Written by Himself, the following question almost inevitably arises: Can a work of fiction and an autobiography be compared at all. Indeed, the structure of the two stories differs greatly. Whereas Douglass’s Narrative adapts a typical pattern of autobiographies, i.e. a chronological order of birth, childhood memories, events that helped shape the narrator etc., Benito Cereno is based on a peculiar three-layered foundation of a central story recounting the main events, a deposition delineating the events prior to the first part, and an endi...   [tags: Life of an American Slave]

Strong Essays
1154 words (3.3 pages)

Slavery and The Corruption of Southern Belles in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas

- “But alas. This is kind heart but had but a short time remain such. The fatal poison of irresponsible power was already in her hands, and soon commenced its infernal work. That cheerful eye, under the influences of slavery, soon 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.” (Douglas 19) This is how Frederick Douglas describes the change in his former mistress, Sophia Auld, as slavery corrupted her whole way of life....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
730 words (2.1 pages)

Defining Moments in Song of Solomon, Push, and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas

- Defining Moments in Song of Solomon, Push, and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas       For those who bask in the light of privilege in the dominant culture, they take for granted their right to assert themselves and to be acknowledged as "somebody who matters". For those who live in the shadowy margins (such as the American poor and/or minorities), they experience the systematic denial of the basic human rights - to live at one's fullest potential, in other words, an outright denial from living a "dignified life"....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
3596 words (10.3 pages)