Creation And Reality In Frederick Douglass's Representation Of Self

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Individualism is a fundamental tenet of Romanticism. Romanticism is a movement that reflects the power of the individual and emphasizes the role of emotion and passion in a person’s life. The Romantic ideas of passion and purpose have been woven into the very fabric of American culture. America was founded on the principles of opportunity and self-reliance because the Founding Fathers believed every person has the inherent right to be free to think, make choices, and pursue dreams of their own preference. A person whose life story compellingly reflects individualism is Frederick Douglass. Douglass’s slavery testimony embodies the spirit of American individualism because of his thirst to acquire knowledge (literacy), his tenacity to freely make his own life decisions, and his unrelenting effort to escape the dreadful bondage of slavery. Frederick Douglass’s slavery experiences are uniquely American because of his eagerness to acquire knowledge. Douglass wants to become literate so that he can find work and start to build his own life. When he…show more content…
Covey. He has experienced the horrors of being a slave and is turned over to Mr. Covey to be disciplined. In his article, “Christianity and Individualism: (Re-)Creation and Reality in Frederick Douglass’s Representation of Self,” Donald B. Gibson articulates the significance of the fight between Douglass and Mr. Covey: “… when he turned Douglass over to Covey for ‘breaking,’ that he was in effect creating the conditions that would eventuate in Douglass’s freedom…Douglass prefaces his narration of this noteworthy event, as will be recalled, with this world to the reader: ‘You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man’” (592). This event shaped Douglass’s heart and mind to become more independent and confident. His fight with Mr. Covey transformed him into a prominent leader for the abolition of slavery in the
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