Who is Frederick Douglass? Essay

Who is Frederick Douglass? Essay

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Frederick Douglass was a slave and well known reformer during the mid to late eighteen hundreds. In addition to his abolitionist causes, he is also known for his writing, which includes several autobiographies as well as his support for women’s rights. His autobiography titled the “Narrative of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave” centers around his life as a former slave from his birth through his escape from slavery later on. During this time, the publication focuses on the way he was treated by slaveholders and their wives, good and bad, and the thoughts that he had about slavery and the effects that it has on African American’s as well as whites. His purpose for writing the autobiography was to appeal to everyone including slaves, women and slaveholders, and to show what slaves go through. The publication however, was mostly directed toward white middle class citizens that were possibly well educated, intelligent and somewhat wealthy. Frederick Douglass utilized his own education and his ability to read and write, especially with the use of his language and grammar, to leave his mark on society.
As an abolitionist himself, Douglass wrote with the masses of other abolitionists in mind to push his cause further. Since many slaves could not read or write at the time, his publication was less for slaves than it was for whites. Although there were other slaves that may have been in the same situation, the numbers were too far and few between to make the mark that he was searching for. Additionally, the purchase of books or print at the time was most certainly a luxury that was afforded to upper to middle class people. Slaves in general were not prone to buying books or print, while there was starvation as well as their familie...


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...tred or racism, he most likely would not have been taken seriously.
Overall, the narrative is a first person account of the life of a slave as an emotional and gripping story that is well written and understandable. As a whole, Frederick Douglass was looking to reach out to the world when he wrote it but the writing was mostly focused on the people that could actually do something about it at the time. He looked toward the people that had a voice; that would read it and speak about it with other people. During the time, abolition was at the forefront of the issues during the time, and Douglas weighed in on that immensely. The book was a way to push people toward making a difference based on the way that he was treated.



Works Cited

Douglass, Frederick. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave.
New York: Anti-Slavery Office, 1945. Print.

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