Essay about Frederick Douglass And The Abolitionist Movement

1253 Words Aug 21st, 2015 6 Pages
“I didn 't know I was a slave until I found out I couldn 't do the things I wanted.” The term confinement can be equated to coercion, repression, and control. Slavery was one of the most infamous examples of physical, mental, and emotional desecration and confinement ever displayed in human history. Frederick Douglass, the author of the preceding quote, was a former slave and human rights leader in the abolitionist movement. From his autobiography, several aspects of how confinement played a role in his and other slaves’ lives were put on display. Firstly, and most obviously, all slaves were confined to slave-life. They were confined to their masters, their plantations, and the subservient identities placed upon them. Secondly, each of the slaves was confined to their education level, or lack thereof. It is well known that slave masters prevented all slaves from becoming literate in an effort to keep them from becoming educated. Douglass, fortunately, was able to break through the confines of his absence of education with assistance from a kind white woman. Lastly, Douglas was confined to Christianity; his religion. Many of the internal struggles that Douglass had to deal with derived from his religious beliefs. In one of the most famous quotes in the novel, Douglass goes as far as questioning the existence of a true God. Douglass’ life as a slave drove him to become self educated, and his unwavering desire to overcome each of the ghastly circumstances he was faced with…

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