The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Essay

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Essay

Length: 903 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Slavery was a fulsome practice that was practiced by the Southern states in the antebellum and Civil War period. This practice viewed today, and by some then as morally unacceptable, was accepted in Southern society as a necessary evil. Many Northerners and some Southerners alike did not know how slaves suffered, but one slave would show how the slaves suffered. This slave's name was Frederick Douglass. In his book The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, he exposed the horrors of slavery. Douglass tells of the atrocities of slavery, to expose the defense of the cruel atrocities by slaveholders, and to incite the Northern populace to exhort the abolishment of slavery.
Frederick Douglass, in his autobiography, singles out the atrocities of the “Peculiar Institution”, from foul to barbarous. In The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave, former slave turned abolitionist, Frederick Douglass (1845) states that many masters treated their slaves cruelly. Douglass (1845) tells of many instances of this inimical treatment. One horror is that many slave women were raped by their white master and then bore them children (p. 2-3) . Douglass' mother might have experienced this (p.2-3). Another was the inhumane ways that slaves were punished, ways such as whipping, having them killed, horribly beaten and many others (p.14-15). Author Fergus M. Bordewich in his book Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America, tells of more atrocious forms of punishment. One form that Bordewich (2005) describes is horrifically amputating a slave's ear or limb, and then the masters would either hanging the slave or putting the slave into a cage to die (p.25). Another Bordew...


... middle of paper ...


...igned it would still be three years and thousands of American men and boys, black and white, before emancipation was finally achieved. Douglass had written about the heinous crimes of slavery to expose the defense of these immoral acts by Southern plantation owners, and to strongly urge the people of the Northern states to push for abolition of slavery on American soil. By doing this Frederick Douglass along with his abolitionist comrades accomplished their goal and made America, in the words of Francis Scott Key, "a land of the free". A land with freedom for all races and nationalities.




Works Cited

Douglass, F. (1845/1995). Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass. New York, NY: Dover
Publications
Bordewich, F. (2005) Bound for canaan: the underground railroad and the war for the soul of
america. New York, NY. HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Essay

- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass      The tone established in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is unusual in that from the beginning to the end the focus has been shifted. In the beginning of the narrative Douglass seems to fulfill every stereotypical slavery theme. He is a young black slave who at first cannot read and is very naïve in understanding his situation. As a child put into slavery Douglass does not have the knowledge to know about his surroundings and the world outside of slavery....   [tags: Narrative Life Frederick Douglass Essays]

Better Essays
915 words (2.6 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)

Power of Persuasion in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Essays

- Power of Persuasion in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass       In order to convince, one must fist charm the inner feelings of the audience. In Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, he appeals to the interest of the reader through his first hand accounts of slavery, his use of irony in these descriptions, and his balance between evasiveness and frankness.   Douglass's descriptions of the severity of slave life are filled with horrific details able to reach even the coldest hearts....   [tags: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass]

Better Essays
823 words (2.4 pages)

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: The Formation of Identity

-      The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave details the progression of a slave to a man, and thus, the formation of his identity. The narrative functions as a persuasive essay, written in the hopes that it would successfully lead to “hastening the glad day of deliverance to the millions of [his] brethren in bonds” (Douglass 331). As an institution, slavery endeavored to reduce the men, women, and children “in bonds” to a state less than human. The slave identity, according to the institution of slavery, was not to be that of a rational, self forming, equal human being, but rather, a human animal whose purpose is to work and obey the whims of their “master.” For t...   [tags: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass]

Better Essays
2136 words (6.1 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)

Dehumanization and Freedom in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

- Dehumanization and Freedom in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass   The issue of slavery in antebellum America was not black and white. Generally people in the North opposed slavery, while inhabitants of the South promoted it. However, many people were indifferent. Citizens in the North may have seen slavery as neither good nor bad, but just a fact of Southern life. Frederick Douglass, knowing the North was home to many abolitionists, wrote his narrative in order to persuade these indifferent Northern residents to see slavery as a degrading practice....   [tags: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass]

Better Essays
1733 words (5 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)

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)

Truth vs. Fiction in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Uncle Tom's Cabin

- Truth vs. Fiction in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Uncle Tom's Cabin It is often said that truth is stranger than fiction. Perhaps, this is so, as truth wears no veil; it is stark reality. There are no soft edges in truth. Only the most zealous hunters, those willing to meet the sword, actively seek it. The majority, while considering ourselves open to the truth, may only realize it when it comes disguised as something else. In short, it seems that we need to see it as not threatening, but molded and plied into something we can digest....   [tags: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass]

Better Essays
2403 words (6.9 pages)