Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass Reflection Paper

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Creating and Reflecting on History The Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave, Written by Himself, recounts Frederick Douglas’ experiences as a slave through personal testimony that illustrates his journey to freedom. This autobiography’s importance goes beyond telling a narrative about the life of a fugitive slave, as it became an integral part of the antislavery movement. Frederick Douglas’ interpretation of the treatment he faced as a slave and his escape for freedom in the early 1800’s provides a powerful reading that wouldn’t be as persuasive if not written in his own words. This paper will examine the effectiveness of Douglas’ recollections, historical significance of this book in comparison with John Paul Jones, …show more content…
While John Paul Jones comes from an objective author using secondary sources, Douglas himself is the source of this novel, providing a detailed and accurate reflection of Douglas’ journey to freedom. Since Douglas is the author, this book distinctly shows his perspective on the hardships he faced while John Paul Jones’ author doesn’t capture the main characters’ feelings as accurately. Another thing that separates these two books, is that the publishing of the Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave is historically significant for beyond what words lie in the book. This book has large historical implications because it proved that an African slave could write. The ability to “rebuff the idea that an African slave was a brute without the capacity to write eloquently” was imperative to Douglas and the antislavery movement (Test …show more content…
Some critics claimed that “everyone must read this book” and “worth reading as a picture of slavery” (Douglas 84, 87). Others claimed that “the Narrative was not written by the professed author” because it wasn’t possible for a slave to “write so correctly” (Doulas 88, 89). Throughout the criticisms of Douglas it became clear that many though Douglas wouldn’t be capable of writing so eloquently because he wasn’t educated in the conventional way. Douglas responded to this criticism, specifically to a slave owner that knew him years ago, by saying that he wouldn’t have been able to write this narrative 7 years ago but through his journey to freedom he has changed dramatically. “Frederick Douglas, the freeman, is a very different person from Frederick Bailey, the slave” (Douglas 94). Although the idea of a slave being able to read and write scared pro-slavery advocates, it was a powerful message in favor of the antislavery movement. A fugitive slave being able to defend his freedom and call for the freedom of people that look like him made him one of the prominent faces of the antislavery

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