Frederick Douglass Essay

1592 Words Sep 14th, 2013 7 Pages
Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, Written by himself. New York: Blight, 2003.

Frederick Douglass was known as the most important African American leader and intellectual in the 19th century. He became a major figure in the crusade for abolition, the drama of emancipation and the effort to give meaning to black freedom during reconstruction. He tells stories about the 20 years of living the life as slave to his amazing and courageous escape. Douglass portrayed the core meaning of slavery, for both individuals and of the nation in his narrative. His multiple meanings of freedom as an idea and reality of mind and body and of the consequences of its denial were his themes in the book. The narrative also
…show more content…
He states in his narrative that he recalled his first impressions of slavery on the plantation of Colonel Lloyd, where he witnessed his aunt being whipped by cow skin until her back was raw her punishment was due to disobeying her master. Whipping was a common punishment in slavery as Frederick would soon find out throughout his years as a slave. The “Great House Farm”, known by the slaves on Colonel Lloyd’s plantation was associated in their minds of being great and was a high privilege to be selected to do errands there. This is where Douglass witnessed the singing of slaves. As the slaves would walk the “Great House Farm”, slaves would be singing the sad songs of prayer. “Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for deliverance from chains.”(51) The songs were the first glimmering conception of the dehumanizing character of slavery. Another slave master was that of Mr. Covey, who according to Fredrick was the worst master he had ever had. Mr. Covey was known as a slave breaker and would beat any slave for something that bothered him and would watch over them as they worked in the fields so as no one would run away, the slaves seemed to go hungry a lot and worked hard both day and even past night fall. Frederick suffered a great deal for the year he was with Mr. Covey. He even questioned the thought of taking his life, but was prevented by a combination of hope and fear. Hope that one day he could be free and fear of the

Related Documents