Major Themes Of Douglas's Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

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Frederick Douglass’s narrative, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, is written primarily to the northern white readers with the goal for them to understand the impact slavery has on the slaves. The readers are exposed to two major themes, the first is the severity of slavery and the second is the lack of education the slaves are allowed. Frederick writes the narrative as his own personal history to demonstrate that slavery was an atrocious system. He is considered a significant part of the abolition movement and his narrative is seen as a major contributing piece of literature that advocated that just because you may be a different skin colour does not mean you are not allowed basic human rights and access to education. Douglass …show more content…
Colonel Lloyd's white employees, called overseers, who all have different attitudes and demeanours towards the slaves. One of the farms was run by a cruel man named Mr. Severe who beats the slaves if they are not working hard enough. Mr. Severe loved to instill fear in his slaves, so when Douglass remembers hearing his fellow slaves singing songs wildly, that sounded both happy and sad at the same time was because of this fear. While being a slave, Douglas did not understand the main message of these songs, but now while writing he explains were a bitter complaint about being a slave. When Douglas hears the songs he is brought to tears, and begins to understand the evils of slavery. The people from the North who believe these songs are about happiness, and very …show more content…
The memories and stories that the author includes are vivid and harsh, and are purposefully included to outline how poorly slaves were treated and how they lived in fear. The countless examples of slaves living in fear or punishment, and the horrible living conditions show just how bad the system had created an unjust and unequal society. Also, the fact that the slaves were used as workers and were prohibited from receiving an education is the way white slave owners maintained control over their property. Although Douglass was lucky to have been educated in some forms, his memories and observations show that the majority of slaves were not treated the same as whites and were forbidden from actually developing their potential outside of being farmhands and servants. These themes are used by Douglass to allow northern readers to experience what a slave is forced to live as and how their lives are like. Douglass’s writings illustrate his life and upbringing, and his relationships with owners and other slaves, to identify how wrong slavery is and advocate for abolition. Douglass had a profound impact on shaping northern, and national, perspectives about slavery. In American political history, Douglass is seen as a leader in the abolition movement and his Narrative, along with his other literary pieces, helped to contribute changing

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