The Life Of Fredrick Douglass

Improved Essays
The Narrative of The Life of Fredrick Douglass effectively shows readers the hardships slaves had to live with on the road to freedom. From the faulty idea of a “romantic southern image” to the unfortunate slave-on-slave betrayal, Douglass debunks these ideas and blames them for the inability to improve the slave’s well-being and the societal ignorance regarding southern conditions. Several epiphanies, such as his new knowledge of the north and realization of slavery’s malice, motivated Douglass and filled his heart with determination to focus his train of thought towards freedom. Despite the many difficulties, he made it there.
Douglass rebukes the romantic image of slavery by using vivid imagery to describe the horrors of his everyday situations
…show more content…
When Mr. Auld benightedly condemned Mrs. Auld 's attempts to teach Douglass how to read, Douglass passionately states, “I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty- to wit, the white man’s power to enslave a black man”(47). That moment was very influential to Douglass because he now understood what many of the other slaves were unable to recognize. This is the realization of the slave 's position in southern society, and that allowed Douglas to understand the pathway of slavery to freedom. His ability to learn that invaluable information without a real teacher is why Douglass both appreciated and disliked his master so much. When living on Mr. Freeland’s farm as a adult, Douglass was able to spread his knowledge and share his tools of growth when he says, “I agreed to do so, and accordingly devoted my Sundays to teaching these my loved fellow-slaves how to read” (87). His biblical teachings taught the slaves how to comprehend the word of God and he was praised for his generous instruction. Not only did Douglass’ literacy change his train of thought and expand his mind, but he now had the power to open the eyes of fellow slaves. None of this could have been possible without Douglass learning how to read, but despite that, his fellow slaves now had the opportunity to see the …show more content…
That system of slavery could not find change without the combined intellect and wit of slaves, which was condemned by the common tyrannical master. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass allowed Douglass to become a world symbol of the African American masses and their plight. The publication of this narrative across the nation opened the eyes of many Americans, significantly northerners, who did not know the ugly nature of “southern living”. The depiction of savage southern slavery further fueled the abolitionist movement throughout the nation. A new and massive wave of protest against the southern treatment of slaves linked the hearts of millions of Americans, improving the abolitionist cause which soon led to great

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    His motivation to write about his difficult life as a slave was to both inform the American public about the degraded, malevolent nature of slavery and to humanize the slaves negatively affected by the Southern institution. Throughout his narrative, Frederick delineate the horrors of slavery by exposing the candid information that, “led [him] to abhor and detest [his] enslavers” (Douglass 27). Douglass’s narrative inputted examples of the drastic conditions African Americans that targeted an audience for persuasion to declare freedom for the servants. As listeners varied from abolitionists, to…

    • 1200 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    At his first plantation, he witnessed cruel punishments done to slaves; separation from family members, murder, extensive labor, and starvation. These unbearable actions caused many slaves to feel inferior to whites. Because they felt powerless to their masters, slaves only saw one road in life; and that was to abide to the wicked regulations no matter the circumstances. At these early years, Douglas was able to acquire the idea that slavery seemed like a never ending nightmare. He understood that slavery brought a great amount of wealth to the south which is the main reason southern whites did not want to abolish slavery.…

    • 1038 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This passage addresses this theme by first offering a vivid depiction of the beating and then explaining how it made Douglass feel and the long-term effect that it had on Frederick Douglass. Douglass writes that that watching the slave master beat his aunt struck him with an awful force and that he was not able to write down the full extent of what happened. Some might argue that Douglass’ situation might be unique and that all slavery was not as violent as what Douglass witnessed. Or someone could argue that Douglass exaggerated his description of slavery to engage the reader of his book more. Another point could be that slave owners did not beat their slaves to instill fear but just to punish one slave.…

    • 920 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The book “The Columbian Orator” brought him attention to understand the rights of human being and help him to acknowledge the inequalities of being a slave (chp 7). Knowledge helped him recognize himself as men instead of as a slave and articulate the injustice of slavery, but he was unable to find a way escaping from slavery. In chapter 10, when he was working in Covery’s plantation, he lost his hope and desire to learn and escape under covery’s brutal treatment. Douglass’s successfully fought back to Covery’s brutal beatings, and terrified his master which set as the climax of the story. This showed slaves should take action and fight what they believed is injustice, which is more important and effective than the people who had knowledge but afraid to speak out the injustice of slavery.…

    • 820 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The book “The Columbian Orator” brought him attention to understand the rights of human being and help him to acknowledge the inequalities of being a slave (chp 7). Knowledge helped him recognize himself as men instead of as a slave and articulate the injustice of slavery, but he was unable to find a way escaping from slavery. When he was working in Covery’s plantation, he lost his hope and desire to learn and escape under covery’s brutal treatment. Douglass’s successfully fought back to Covery’s brutal beatings, and terrified his master which set as the climax of the story. This showed an action of fighting what people believed is injustice is more important and effective than the people who had knowledge but afraid to speak out the injustice of slavery.…

    • 1246 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    However, When Hugh Auld recognizes what she is doing, he commands her to stop instructing Douglass immediately, explaining that education could ruin slaves, making them unhappy and unmanageable. Therefore, to maintain control over slaves, all the white men have to do is to prevent their slaves from education which could lead slaves to think about their lives and freedom. Douglass hears what Hugh said, he was surprised and astonished. It was his first time that he heard something like that, but this moment is the most precious moment in his life. He could finally realizes the strategy that white men use to enslave blacks.…

    • 1212 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Douglass’s “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” presents many excellent examples that demonstrate the horrible conditions slaves were forced to live in. The narrative also fully refutes the arguments made by Fitzhugh and other proslavery activists such as calming that African Americans were happy and freer as slaves and that they were inferior and therefore unfit for American liberty. The severe punishments and harsh conditions that are detailed in by Douglass clearly show that slaves were not freer and were not happier with their condition. By learning to read, write, and effectively argue against slavery, Douglass proves that African Americans can match the intellectual capacity of whites and that the true meaning liberty is very well understood by African Americans. The “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” is an extremely important piece of American literature that enhances our view on early American History and slavery in North…

    • 1325 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Eli Whitney’s inventions created new boundaries for the speed of the production of cotton based materials but also gave the southerners an unjustified reason for slavery. The Fugitive Slave Act, in an attempt to compromise and unify the nation, jeopardized the safety of freedmen and infuriated the abolitionists because of their lack of power against the act. Uncle Tom’s Cabin introduced slavery in a new, horrifying light to the northerners and the British, urging many to support the abolitionist cause. All these pushed the nation into the pandemonium that was the civil war in 1861. In regards to American society, the civil war laid the foundation for the rebirth of America that would include a reunited union and, eventually, the freedom of slaves in all territories of the United…

    • 1021 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It was overwhelming to see Douglass’s inequality in the North, despite his freedom, but was even more astounding to see how greatly America has changed as a result of the efforts of Douglass and other Abolitionists. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is still relevant in today’s society as it represents the struggle for equality in America and acts as a reminder of the gift of freedom. The narrative itself recounts the horrors of slavery and inspires its audience through its raw accounts of Douglass’s experiences and emotions as he fought for his personal equality. Douglass’s struggles as a slave inspired many in their efforts for freedom from slavery, or as abolitionists wanting to benefit the enslaved. Frederick Douglass is an American pioneer whose efforts towards racial equality and the abolition of slavery helped to revolutionize racial…

    • 1468 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    (1)” Stephens believed that Union wants to topple the natural order which places Negro as subordinates and slave to white people. He assumed that Black people position is naturally imposed, and they cannot have the rights and privileges like white man. Along with Stephen many people in the south believed that, the state economy depended on slave labor; and by ending slavery it would bring disaster in their economy. People in the south did not wanted slavery to end, and these people were his audience while he was delivering the speech, so he said what the people wanted to hear and thus they supported…

    • 937 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays