Essay On Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

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The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is Frederick Douglass’s autobiography in which Douglass goes into detail about growing up as a slave and then escaping for a better life. During the early-to-mid 1800s, the period that this book was written, African-American slaves were no more than workers for their masters. Frederick Douglass recounts not only his personal life experiences but also the experiences of his fellow slaves during the period. This book was aimed at abolitionists, so he makes a point to portray the slaves as actual living people, not the inhuman beings that they are treated as. In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, slaves are inhumanly represented by their owners and Frederick Douglass shines a positive light…show more content…
Because of this, he successfully creates a contrast between what the slave owners think of and treat the slaves and how they are. Douglass says that slave’s minds were “starved by their cruel masters”(Douglass, 48) and that “they had been shut up in mental darkness” (Douglass, 48) and through education, something that they were deprived of, Frederick Douglass is able to open their minds and allow them to flourish into the complex people that they are. By showing a willingness to learn to read and write, the slaves prove that they were much more than what was forced upon them by their masters. Thus, in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass is able to represent slaves as dehumanized property with the sole purpose of working their masters land until the day they die. Douglass also successfully represents slaves as intelligent people who wish to learn and begin to see the world for themselves, not through the eyes of a slave master. Douglass illustrated both sides of the spectrum of slave life, being deprived of knowledge and having, although against the rules, access to material to learn, to provide a distinction between how slaves are handled and how they truly
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