Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave Essay

Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave Essay

Length: 1043 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


I will begin with a comparison of the two books, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” and “Harriett Ann Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” with their title pages. Douglass’s title is announcing that his entire “life” as an “American Slave” will be examined. While, Jacobs’s title offers a contrast and proclaims that this will not be the story of her full life, but a selection of “incidents” that occurred at specific times in her life. Jacobs refers to herself in the title as a “slave girl,” and not an “American slave,”. It is the voice of a woman telling the story of having survived a horrifying childhood and identifies herself as a slave mother. Douglass’ and Jacobs’ works symbolize the pressure between the conflicting motives that generated autobiographies of their lives as slaves.
In the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: an American Slave” the story begins with the introduction of Douglass. Douglass’ narrative chronicles his life from childhood to becoming an adult. Factual information gathered from this reading tells us that Douglass was born a slave in Tuckahoe, Maryland, and was born under the master, Captain Anthony. Douglass had no knowledge of his age but does know who is his mother and grandmother are. We also learn that Douglass is aware of the fact that his father is considered to be the master of the plantation. In the later part of Douglass’ life, he is moved to a new plantation, where is owner is Mr. Auld. When he becomes a slave on Mr. Auld’s plantation, Douglass begins to get a true sense and knowledge of the ravages of slavery.
Jacobs renames people in her story for a sense of privacy. The audience for this narrative is males and females. In “Incident...


... middle of paper ...


...ing, and forced sexual attentions. The focus of Jacobs’s narrative is the sexual exploitation that she, and many other slave women, had to endure. Both Douglass and Jacobs were determined to fight for freedom. Douglass could show “how a slave became a man.” On the other hand, Jacobs’ gender determined a different course. Throughout her narrative, Jacobs is looking not only for freedom but also for a secure home for her children.
Jacobs’ work is similar to Douglass, both were slaves. They both knew of at least one family member. Both of their stories told of immense struggles and their tremendous determination to escape the vials of slavery. Both authors achieved successful outcomes and were eventually freed from slavery. Audiences differ for both authors, with the Douglass reader being primarily male. Jacobs on the other hand was targeting and writing to women.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Life as a Slave in the autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

- ... He was known to beat slaves, until they gave into his will, and I was treated no different. His constant abuse could have broken me, as a matter of fact, it almost did. I was only sixteen and I knew I could have been killed for fighting a white man, but I couldn’t take it anymore. During one of his many beatings, I raised up with all my strength, knocking him to the ground. I hit him and I kicked him repeatedly, and after that day, Edward Covey never beat me again. I was moved again, a year later....   [tags: abolitionist, civil war, african american]

Better Essays
818 words (2.3 pages)

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave Essay

- The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave was written by Frederick Douglass himself. He was born into slavery in Tuckahoe, Maryland in approximately 1817. He has, "…no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it" (47). He became known as an eloquent speaker for the cause of the abolitionists. Having himself been kept as a slave until he escaped from Maryland in 1838, he was able to deliver very impassioned speeches about the role of the slave holders and the slaves....   [tags: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass]

Better Essays
1251 words (3.6 pages)

Racism and the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

- Examining Prevalent Attitudes on Racism and the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave When we look at the issue of racism from a politically correct, nineties perspective, evidence of the oppression of black people may be obscured by the ways in which our society deals with the inequalities that still exist. There are no apparent laws that prohibit or limit opportunities for blacks in our society today, yet there is a sense that all things are not fair and equal. How can we acknowledge or just simply note how past ideologies are still perpetuated in our society today....   [tags: Narrative Life Frederick Douglass]

Better Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave: A Masterpiece of Propaganda When was the last time you were exposed to propaganda. If you think it was more than a day ago, you are probably unaware of what propaganda really is. According to Donna Woolfolk Cross in “Propaganda: How not to be Bamboozled,” propaganda is “simply a means of persuasion” (149). She further notes that we are subjected daily to propaganda in one form or another as advertisers, politicians, and even our friends attempt to persuade us to use their product, vote for them, or adopt their point of view....   [tags: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass]

Better Essays
2088 words (6 pages)

Essay on Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave

- From before the country’s conception to the war that divided it and the fallout that abolished it, slavery has been heavily engrained in the American society. From poor white yeoman farmers, to Northern abolitionist, to Southern gentry, and apathetic northerners slavery transformed the way people viewed both their life and liberty. To truly understand the impact that slavery has had on American society one has to look no further than those who have experienced them firsthand. Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave and advocate for the abolitionist, is on such person....   [tags: biography, slavery, american society]

Better Essays
1297 words (3.7 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]

Better Essays
810 words (2.3 pages)

Narrative Of The Life Of An American Slave By Frederick Douglass Essay

- “Narrative of the Life of An American Slave” by Frederick Douglass is an autobiography on the troubles and obstacles that Frederick Douglass had overcome throughout his life as a man born into slavery. The story takes place in several different locations due to the slave trade system, . The story discusses how Douglass is fed with so much pain and sorrow that he forcefully makes an obligation towards becoming a free man. He finds solemn wonder in education, where he begins to discover new things about the nation’s unjustified society which he uses towards fulfilling his desire of escaping slavery....   [tags: Slavery, Slavery in the United States]

Better Essays
1048 words (3 pages)

Social and Legal Definitions of Slavery Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

- Mr. Covey seemed now to think he had me, and could do what he pleased; but at this moment -- from whence came the spirit I don't know -- I resolved to fight; and, suiting my action to the resolution, I seized Covey hard by the throat; and as I did so, I rose. (Douglass 112, chapt. 10) In Chapter 10 of Frederick Douglass' Narrative of the Life of... an American Slave, Douglass describes an important incident in which he forces backward the standard master-slave hierarchy of beating privileges against his temporary master, Mr....   [tags: Narrative Frederick Douglass Slave Essays]

Better Essays
3959 words (11.3 pages)

Comparing Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave and Incidents in the Life

- Comparing Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl What provokes a person to write about his or her life. What motivates us to read it. Moreover, do men and women tell their life story in the same way. The answers may vary depending on the person who answers the questions. However, one may suggest a reader elects to read an autobiography because there is an interest. This interest allows the reader to draw from the narrator's experience and to gain understanding from the experience....   [tags: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass]

Better Essays
2161 words (6.2 pages)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave: The Evils of Slavery

- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave: A Perspective on the Evils of Slavery The institution of slavery defies the very nature of humanity, truth, and intellect from both the slave and the slave owner. Throughout the "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave; the terrible relationship between ignorance and suppression is seen time and time again with every one of his owners. Douglass is fortunate in discovering the liberating power of knowledge of which his owners are trying so diligently to conceal....   [tags: Narrative Life Frederick Douglass]

Better Essays
978 words (2.8 pages)