Frederick Douglass Narrative: Slave Life In The 18th Century

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In Frederick Douglass’ Narrative, we are given an up-close and personal look at some critical aspects of slave life in the 18th century. Douglass depicts the physical, mental, and emotional hardships that he and many other blacks were put through. His criticism of the politics of the United States is shown through several situations he highlights in his narrative. One example is the law establishing that children born to slave women must follow the same conditions of their mother and be sold into slavery. Slave women, often time being impregnated by their masters, produced the majority of this mixed-race class of slaves. This arrangement gave slave masters the opportunity to profit and pleasure from their wicked desires to essentially legally rape black female …show more content…
Another example of Douglass’ criticism of American politics is the law stating that slaves cannot be taught how to read or write. This law was put into place to ensure the lower place and ignorance of the slave people. Slave illiteracy gave the slave owners more “manageable” and “safe” slaves, as well as another sense of authority over their slaves. The conversation between Mr. and Mrs. Auld sparks Frederick Douglass’ future plans to escape his chains of slavery. He realized that learning how to read and write would be the first big step to freedom. At the end of Chapter VI, Douglass is enthralled in this revelation in which Mr. Auld had aided. It seems as though Douglass used his master’s shunning as a fire under his will and determination to learn. The last example of Douglass’ criticism of United States politics is his surprisingly critical thoughts of the Underground Railroad. This “railroad” was conducted for the purpose of providing a network of routes and safe houses for slaves who were trying to escape

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